The Legal Affairs Committee supported and recommended to the National Assembly to adopt on first reading a bill to amend the Election Code, submitted by GERB MPs Tsetska Tsacheva, Krasimir Velchev, Desislava Atanasova and Dimitar Glavchev. 11 MPs from GERB and MRF voted in favor of the bill, 6 MPs from BSP voted against and two abstained.
The amendments to Article 46, paragraph 3, item 1 propose that CEC consists of 18 members, including a chairperson, vice-chairpersons and a secretary, nominated by the parliamentary parties and coalitions, as well as parties and coalitions that have MEPs elected on their lists but are not represented in parliament. Another text proposes upon appointment of CEC members, other than Board members, to maintain the ratio between the represented parties and coalitions.
The motives of the bill importers read that the current number of 19 CEC members does not provide for an opportunity to comply with the ratio between the parliamentary parties in the 42nd National Assembly thus penalizing MRF. An equitable distribution that reflects the parity between the parties in the 42nd National Assembly and is closest to 19 is 18, the importers write. According to the provisions of the current code CEC has two deputy chairpersons. Importers propose the number of vice-chairpersons to be determine in accordance with the number of parliamentary parties in the respective National Assembly, retaining in force the rule that the CEC Board members shall not be nominated by the same party.
Good law is the fair law, said upon presenting the importers’ case MP Tsacheva of GERB.
The problem is not with the current Election Code, but rather with the decree of the President and the responsibility for penalizing MRF lies on him, said during the debate Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Maya Manolova. According to her, the Election Code should not be changed in the phase of elections, whereas the proposed amendments do require improvement, as in their proposed form they will not produce any legal effect.
On behalf of the PG of MRF, the Legal Affairs Committee chairman Chetin Kazak said he would support the bill. I do not think that the current Election Code contains ambiguous texts, on the contrary, it is very clear, but unfortunately the President did not act according to the letter of the law and harmed MRF, said Kazak. He expressed the view that the proposed texts were not flawless and required adjustments to be made between the first and second reading.