Bulgarian Parliament postpones decision on November 2016 referendum outcome

Bulgaria’s National Assembly rejected on January 11 a proposal by Boiko Borissov’s GERB party to debate the outcome of the November 2016 referendum and to adopt a majoritarian system to elect the next Parliament.

GERB wanted the current National Assembly – which has an expected lifespan of less than two weeks – to back moves that got majority support in the referendum, including a majoritarian election system for MPs, compulsory voting (already part of Bulgarian electoral law) and the slashing of state subsidies for parties in Parliament to one lev (50 euro cents) per valid vote.

The referendum was officially ruled to be below the voter turnout threshold to be binding on Parliament, but this is being contested in court. This is among the reasons why many MPs opposed making a decision based on its outcome.

The defeat for GERB in the National Assembly on January 11 followed a similar defeat on the same issue at a special meeting of Parliament’s legal affairs committee on January 10.

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(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)