Meeting on February 15, Bulgaria’s caretaker government decided to replace seven regional governors, a week after dismissing 14.
Caretaker Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdzhikov’s Cabinet took the decision because in recent weeks the seven regional governors had applied for leave to take part in the campaign ahead of Bulgaria’s March 26 2017 early parliamentary elections.
The governors now being replaced are those of Vidin, Stara Zagora, Smolyan, Pazardzhik, Pleven, Pernik and Gabrovo.
A government spokesperson said that Gerdzhikov had not intended to make further changes among the regional governors, but the fact that the governors had applied for leave to campaign could call into question the fairness and transparency of the elections in those regions.
Also on the early elections, the spokesperson said that the caretaker government had not been able to find a country in Europe that could supply the number of voting machines required for the parliamentary elections.
Through diplomatic missions, inquiries had been made to the Netherlands, Slovenia and France.
Bulgaria’s election commission has put out a tender to hire more than 12 000 voting machines to enable the machines to be made available at all polling stations in Bulgaria and abroad.
The tender was called as a result of a Supreme Administrative Court ruling that electoral law must be complied with by deploying voting machines as an alternative to paper ballot voting at polling stations.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)