Bulgaria’s President meets health officials on election arrangements

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev met senior health officials on January 5 at the start of consultations on arrangements for the 2021 parliamentary elections, Bulgarian National Radio reported.

Radev’s first meeting was with Health Minister Kostadin Angelov, Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev and national vaccination headquarters chief Krassimir Gigov.

At the meeting, it emerged that the national operational headquarters against Covid-19 has a plan for measures during the elections, but does not want to reveal it until Radev decrees the date of the election. In turn, Radev wants to see the plan before decreeing the date of the elections.

Radev told the meeting that for him as president, “it is extremely important to see that both the constitutional right to vote and safety are guaranteed for Bulgarians in the upcoming elections for the National Assembly”.

He told the officials that he wanted to hear their predictions for the development of the Covid-19 pandemic, the extent to which it would be affected by the vaccination process, what change was expected in the number of people in quarantine, what measures they envisaged not only for election day but also the election campaign and how they saw people in quarantine and in isolation voting.

Angelov said that over the past two months, a medical protocol for holding the elections amid a pandemic had been developed.

The moment that Radev decreed the election date, this would be announced “because otherwise it will look a bit like, figuratively speaking, a premature birth,” Angelov said.

He said that the staff was thinking about mobile polling stations and special sections for people in quarantine, who by law were not allowed to leave their homes.

“We are thinking about…what kind of change to make in order to guarantee their constitutional right, and we are also thinking about how to ensure the security of the people who will be engaged in these mobile ballot boxes or in the individual sections.”

People would not be allowed to gather indoors on election day and during the election campaign.

Personal protective equipment as well as disinfectants will be used, including for disinfection of voting machines, Kunchev said.

As for how the election campaign will be conducted, if the elections are scheduled for March 28 – the date that Radev said some weeks ago he would decree for the vote – Angelov said that political parties should consider first the health of Bulgarian citizens.

The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the Embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

The Sofia Globe is an independent media outlet, free of ties to any corporate, political or other media groups. For as little as three euro a month or the equivalent in other currencies, you can support The Sofia Globe via patreon.com and get access to exclusive subscriber-only content. Please click on the button below:

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292