Bulgaria: Petitioners for party registrations in election included dead people

It seems that some of those who signed petitions in support of registration of parties and coalitions in Bulgaria’s April 2023 early parliamentary elections were so enthusiastic in their support that they did not let being dead hold them back.

The head of the Commission for Personal Data Protection, Ventsislav Karadzhov, told television station bTV on May 8 that five out of the six parliamentary groups in the 49th National Assembly had dead people who had signed their applications to register for the elections.

Of the parliamentary groups, the one with the largest number of deceased petitioners was cable television presenter Slavi Trifonov’s ITN, with 25. This exceeds the number of MPs for ITN, the smallest parliamentary group, with 11 seats.

The We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria coalition and the Bulgarian Socialist Party each had seven dead petitioners, Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF five and Vuzrazhdane three, according to Karadzhov.

The only parliamentary group apparently unable to rouse enthusiasm from beyond the grave was the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, going by the commission’s check.

The minimum requirement for registration to compete in elections is the signatures of 2500 petitioners.

The champion among the dead was a contestant that ended vastly below the threshold of four per cent of valid ballots for a share of seats in the National Assembly.

The Socialist Party Bulgarian Path had 352 dead people on its list. That is about half the number of votes it got on April 2 – a total of 730 votes, 0.03 per cent of those who cast a ballot, according to official results posted by the Central Election Commission.

Among other contestants that failed to win seats but at least apparently had some backing within the afterlife was Iva Miteva’s Zaedno coalition (156 dead people on their petition, and 8755 votes on April 2) and the Bulgarian National Union (117 dead petitioners, and 2328 votes).

(Archive photo: Interior Ministry press centre)

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