(DF) Bulgaria Holds Early Parliamentary Elections

July 11 (BTA) – On Sunday, Bulgaria is holding early parliamentary elections. They are taking place just slightly over four months after the previous regular polls on April 4 because the parliament that was elected then failed to render up a government and had to be dissolved on May 12, 2021. The polls opened at 7:00 a.m. local time and will close at 8:00 p.m. Slightly over 6.7 million voters have the right to elect the 240 members of the next, 46th National Assembly, from among 6,048 candidates nominated by 15 parties and eight coalitions and two independents. A semi-proportional election system with a single transferable vote is used. At the national level, seats are allocated to parties and coalitions which have gained no less than 4 per cent of the valid votes within Bulgaria and abroad. The 31 multi-member constituencies into which the country is divided are assigned a fixed number of seats, varying from 16 to 4. Balloting is taking place in some 12,200 voting sections in Bulgaria and a record 784 sections abroad in 68 countries. For the first time in these national elections, machine voting is the only method that can be employed in all sections with at least 300 voters: 9,402 domestic sections and 273 overseas sections in 24 countries. Paper ballots are used in approximately 2,800 sections in Bulgaria and 511 sections abroad with fewer than 300 voters, as well as for voting by a mobile ballot box, at hospitals, nursing homes and other social care institutions, at prisons and pre-trial detention facilities, and on board Bulgarian-flagged ships. Voting by paper ballot is also envisaged as a back-up option, in case a machine fails. Any such switch will require a CEC decision. Twenty-nine Bulgarian non-governmental organizations and five international and foreign organizations are monitoring Sunday’s elections. Five sociological agencies have registered to conduct exit polls on polling day. The Central Election Commission (CEC) decided on Saturday to allow real-time video recording and streaming of the working process in the voting premises of election sections upon declaring Election Day over. RY/MT /МТ/ LG/LG