Parliament Endorses Principle of Residence Qualifications for Participation in Local Elections

Parliament Endorses Principle of Residence Qualifications for Participation in Local Elections

Passing conclusively provisions in the new Electoral Code Monday Parliament decided that nationals of Bulgaria who  have lived in the respective population centre for at least the past 12 months will have the right to elect municipal councillors and mayors.

The 12-month residence qualifications also apply for EU citizens who are not Bulgarian nationals. In order to vote for mayors or municipal councillors such people need to have lived in the respective place in the past year and to have submitted a written statement that they want to vote.

Bulgarian nationals who have lived in the past three months in Bulgaria or in another EU member state will have the right to elect members of the European Parliament. EU citizens who do not have Bulgarian nationality but who want to elect MEPs from Bulgaria need to submit a written statement that they want to vote for MEPs in Bulgaria and to have permanent or continuous residence status in Bulgaria.

The MPs also decided that borough mayors in Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna (the three biggest cities in Bulgaria) will not be elected by voters in a direct vote but appointed by municipal mayors. The MPs also decided that the Electoral Code shall determine the organization and procedure for conducting elections for Parliament, President and Vice President, the European Parliament, municipal councillors, mayors of municipalities and mayoralties. The Electoral Code also sets forth the terms and conditions and the procedure for by-elections in the event of early termination of the term of office of an MP, MEP, municipal councillor, and mayor of a municipality or a mayoralty. The provision was carried in a 104-48 vote with six abstentions.

 

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