Bulgaria’s new Central Election Commission line-up takes office

The new line-up of Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission (CEC) will take office on May 12, after President Roumen Radev’s decree appointing the 15-member election watchdog was published in the State Gazette.

Changing the CEC was one of the goals of the Electoral Code amendments, the only major legislation passed by the 45th National Assembly before it was dissolved, having failed to vote a new government in place.

With Radev setting the early parliamentary elections date for July 11, the new Commission will be tasked with implementing all the other changes to electoral law, including the use of machines as the primary means of voting and the possible increase in the number of voting precincts abroad.

CEC’s new head is Kamelia Neikova, who also served as a member and spokesperson of the elections body in 2014-2019.

Speaking to public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio on May 9, Neikova said that CEC would make “every effort to find efficient solutions to ensure machine voting, as envisioned in the Electoral Code,” and pointed out that the law allows paper ballots to be cast in case of technical issues with the voting machines.

On May 10, Neikova told Bulgarian National Television that CEC could need between 300 and 500 voting machines, on top of the 9600 purchased for the April 4 parliamentary election, in order to ensure that each voting precinct has one.

(Screengrab of Kamelia Neikova from Bulgarian National Television)

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