Bulgaria’s July elections: Police investigating 100 complaints of vote-buying

With 10 days to go to Bulgaria’s July early parliamentary elections, police are investigating close to 100 complaints of vote-buying, caretaker Interior Minister Boiko Rashkov said on July 1.

Large-scale “election tourism” – packing voters into an electoral district – and manipulation of the election process are being prepared, Rashkov told a briefing.

Separately, Bulgarian National Radio reported national police Chief Commissioner Stanimir Stanev as saying on July 1 that three people had been arrested in the Bourgas district for crimes against the electoral process.

These included people arrested for vote-buying in the Exarch Antimovo village in the Karnobat area and in the Komluka residential area of Bourgas.

Rashkov told the briefing that a “well-known politician from the past” had been spotted organising vote-buying in Vratsa, Montana and Vidin.

“It is a matter of buying votes for a party of a certain ethnic group,” Rashkov said.

He said that as of July 1, a special police operation had been launched throughout Bulgaria to combat crimes against the electoral process.

“We will not put up with the ugly practice of buying and selling votes. Certain groups, including representatives of political parties, will try to win a vote not in the way provided for by law,” Rashkov said.

(Archive photo: Interior Ministry press centre)

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