84 Parties Bid in Bulgaria's 2011 Local Elections, 10 in Presidential Vote

84 Parties Bid in Bulgaria's 2011 Local Elections, 10 in Presidential Vote

A total of 84 political formations have submitted registration papers for Bulgaria's 2011 local elections scheduled to take place on October 23, 2011, together with the presidential vote.

The deadline for applications for registrations with Bulgaria's Central Electoral Commission (CEC) expired Monday at 5 pm.

Ralitsa Negentsova, spokesperson of the CEC, reminded that a total of 88 parties and coalitions registered for the local elections in 2007. While Bulgaria has 6 major parties that are represented in Parliament, and a couple that failed to make it to it, the local elections traditionally feature a wide array of marginal and local parties.

While the registration for the Bulgarian presidential elections is still in progress, Negentsova announced that 7 parties and 3 initiative committees have applied for registration to date, even though some of them - such as GEBR - have not announced their nominees yet.

The parties in question are the ruling center-right party GERB, the Bulgarian Democratic Forum, the nationalist party VMRO-BND, the rightist Union of Democratic Forces and Democrats for Strong Bulgaria which together form the Blue Coalition, a "National Salvation Front", and the major nationalist party "Ataka".

The three initiative committees applying for registration including the committee that nominated Bulgaria's ex EU Commissioner Meglena Kuneva and her running mate Lyubomir Hristov, the marginal bidders Dimitar Kutsarov and Kameliya Todorova, and Atanas Yordanov, one of the notorious ethnic Turkish Yuzeirov brothers who are known for trying to found an "Ottoman" party and Musa Ali Hyusein.

The deadline for seeking presidential vote registrations is August 18.

The Central Electoral Commission has not made its final decisions on any of the registration applications yet, Negentsova explained. She said that if the CEC finds any violations in the applications, the bidders will be given three days to correct them, and will be refused registration only if they fail to do so.

In her words, about 13 000 Bulgarian citizens will serve as members of local electoral commissions around the country on election day, ranging from 5 to 9 per polling station. (Source: Sofia News Agency)

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