(DF) Parliamentary Parties Comment on Presidential Elections Date, Simultaneous Conduct with Legislative Polls

September 1 (BTA) – The parliamentary groups in Bulgaria’s National Assembly Wednesday commented on the options for a date for the next presidential elections and whether they should be held simultaneously with the early parliamentary elections. The draft resolution, scheduling the elections of President and Vice President of the Republic for November 14, has already been submitted to Parliament’s Registry and has been published on the National Assembly website. It is moved by Viktoria Vassileva MP of There Is Such a People (TISP) and a group of MPs. National Assembly Chair Iva Miteva (MP of TISP): A draft resolution of Parliament has already been prepared, scheduling the presidential elections for November 14. The President will have to set a date for the parliamentary elections. If the two types of elections are held simultaneously, more voting machines will have to be purchased. There Is Such a People (TISP) Deputy Floor Leader Filip Stanev: Simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections are a better option and makes more sense, as far as TISP is concerned. A huge amount of public funds will be saved, and the voter turnout will be larger. It does not matter to the parliamentary group whether the presidential elections will take place on November 7 or 14. GERB-UDF Floor Leader Desislava Atanassova: GERB-UDF propose November 7 for the presidential elections, so that there would be enough time for a second round of voting. The parliamentary group insists on the two types of elections being held on one and the same date because the voter turnout would otherwise drop significantly, especially considering the present COVID-19 wave. The cost of an extra 2,400-plus machines should not be underestimated, either. BSP for Bulgaria Deputy Floor Leader Georgi Svilenski: The Left propose November 7 for the first round of voting in the presidential elections and November 14 for the second round, so as to avoid a constitutional problem. “Two-in-one” elections are probably a better option for voters, but the President will have the final say in the matter. Democratic Bulgaria Floor Leader Hristo Ivanov: The parliamentary group does not attach importance to the date proper and does not have any particular preference. Movement for Rights and Freedoms Deputy Floor Leader Halil Letifov: The parliamentary group is rather inclined to back November 14, so that there would be more time to organize the elections. Whether the two types of elections will be held simultaneously after the National Assembly resolution remains within the powers of the presidential institution. Rumen Yonchev MP of Rise Up BG! Here We Come!: The parliamentary group is OK with either date. In any case, November 7 is becoming impossible, considering the forthcoming business on the National Assembly agenda, mainly the budget revision and several other laws concerning the judicial reform that Rise Up would like to see passed. Whether the two types of elections will be held simultaneously or separately does not matter much, either. DS/LG