Deadline for EU nationals to register to vote in Bulgaria’s local elections is September 16

The deadline for nationals of other European Union countries resident in Bulgaria to register to vote in the country’s autumn 2019 mayoral and municipal elections is September 16, according to a timetable on the website of the Central Election Commission.

By presidential decree, Bulgaria’s 2019 local elections will be held on October 27.

Should second-round elections be necessary, they will be held on the following Sunday, November 3.

For non-Bulgarian EU citizens resident in the country, active registration is required because they are not automatically included on voters’ rolls.

To be eligible to vote in municipal and mayoral elections, EU citizens must be registered as having been resident in Bulgaria for at least six months before the elections.

EU citizens also may stand as candidates in local elections, but only to be elected as councillors, not as mayors.

Registration is done at municipal administrations where the EU citizens are registered as resident.

Application involves a declaration of citizenship, registered address, ID details, affirmation of how long the EU national has lived in Bulgaria and of fulfilling the residence requirements for eligibility to vote. Like Bulgarian citizens, EU citizens must be over the age of 18 to be able to vote.

The timeline for Bulgaria’s autumn 2019 election creates a notable situation regarding citizens of the UK, because of Brexit.

Should the intention of the current British government be kept to, Brexit would take place on October 31. This would mean that British expatriates in Bulgaria would still be EU citizens before the September 16 deadline for registering to vote, and still would be on the October 27 election day.

However, in municipalities where elections go to a second round on November 3, British nationals would no longer be EU citizens, but third-country nationals, rendering it illegal for them to vote.





The Sofia Globe staff

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