Bulgaria’s caretaker government allocates close to 88M leva for April early elections

Meeting on February 3, Bulgaria’s caretaker government approved funding of 87.7 million leva for the country’s April 2 2023 early parliamentary elections, according to the government information service.

This sum is intended to cover items such as preparation and printing of voters rolls, printing of ballot papers, logistical support of regional and municipal administrations and the cabinet office administration, pay for election commission officials, computer processing of voting data and an information campaign.

The statement said that the government was ready to provide additional funding for contracts for logistical and technical support for voting machines, as well as for other items and activities to secure the electoral process, including video surveillance of vote counting.

The April 2 2023 early parliamentary elections will be the fifth time over three years that Bulgaria elects a legislature.

For the April 2021 parliamentary elections, the government allocated a sum of 65.25 million leva, later adding 2.9 million leva for measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.

For the July 2021 early parliamentary elections, the sum allocated was 57.1 million leva, for the November 2021 combined presidential and early parliamentary elections, the sum allocated was 123.8 million leva, and for the October 2022 early parliamentary elections, 70.5 million leva.

Added together, the initial allocations for these five elections come to 384.75 million leva. That, however, does not provide the full picture, because elections also have seen additional spending, on items such as voting machines, finalised after the initial allocations.

Pushing up the cost of the April 2023 early parliamentary elections are steps voted by the now-defunct 48th National Assembly, one setting a framework for increasing the pay of electoral officials, the other – approved with the votes of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, GERB-UDF and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms – returning voting using a ballot paper as an alternative to using a voting machine.

(Photo: Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry press centre)

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