The District Prosecutor’s Office in the town of Gorna Oryahovitsa in northern Bulgaria has lodged criminal charges against three men for vote-buying in the local elections, Bulgarian National Radio reported on November 2.
The accused are being held in 72-hour custody. Prosecutors will decide on November 4 whether to apply in court for the accused to be remanded in custody pending the outcome of a trial.
On November 1, a 65-year-old man from the village of Petko Karavelovo, a 56-year-old man from the village of Draganovo and a 38-year-old from the village of Parvomaytsi were arrested.
It is alleged that they offered money, of sums from 30 leva to 100 leva (about 15 euro to 50 euro) per vote, between October 17 to 27, to get people to vote for a certain mayoral candidate.
If the accused are found guilty, they face one to seven years imprisonment and a fine of 10 000 to 25 000 leva.
In a separate report, Bulgarian National Radio said that there had been allegations of vote-buying in three municipalities in the Gabrovo district – Sevlievo, Dryanovo and Tryavna.
The reports have been lodged at the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor’s Office.
On November 1, Bulgarian National Television reported that the Prosecutor’s Office in Blagoevgrad had searched the addresses and cars of two people following allegations of vote-buying.
There were seizures and searches at the homes of both people, as well as addresses of people close to them, throughout the day.
Bulgarian National Radio reported on November 1 that a 67-year-old woman from Letnitsa, a small municipality in the Lovech district in central northern Bulgaria, had been sentenced to 10 months probation, suspended for three years, for vote-buying before the October 27 local elections.
The District Prosecutor’s Office in Lovech announced that by the first round of local elections in the district, 30 dossiers had been opened regarding violations of election law, as well as two pre-trial proceedings. In one case, a conviction had already been handed down, and in the other, investigations were proceeding, the report said.
Bulgarians go to the polls on November 3 in municipalities where the October 27 elections did not decide mayoral races.