The Bulgarian Parliament decided Wednesday that it will propose October 23 to President Georgi Parvanov as the date for upcoming presidential and municipal elections.
This was the favored date of ruling GERB party, which has a large minority of 117 MPs out of 240, plus the support of MPs from other parliamentary groups.
Local elections are to be held on the same day.
The power to determine the date of elections in Bulgaria however does not rest with Parliament, but rather with the President.
Opposition MPs have argued against the meaning of the parliamentary motion, as they saw it as infringing on the powers of the President and putting him in the awkward situation of either having to expressly snub the legislative body or agree with its pre-set date.
President Parvanov had carried out the traditional consultations on the election date with parties in Parliament April, but representatives of different parties failed to reach a common position.
Opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party has argued that October 23 is too soon after the summer holiday season for a serious campaign to be staged, and have requested that elections take place November 13.
The Wednesday vote was won with 101 MPs for, 4 against and 50 abstentions. /Source: Sofia News Agency/