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Parliament Postpones Voting on Draft Resolution about November 6 National Referendum

Parliament Postpones Voting on Draft Resolution about November 6 National Referendum

Parliament Postpones Voting on Draft Resolution about November 6 National Referendum

Sofia, January 11 (BTA) - On a motion by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms Parliament Wednesday postponed taking a vote on a draft resolution tabled by GERB in connection with the November 6, 2016 national referendum. The item was rejected when it was first put to the vote, and then again when the vote was re-taken. Ninety-nine MPS voted in favour of postponing the draft resolution voting, 76 against the postponement, and four MPs, two from GERB, abstained.

The reasoning for postponing the vote on the draft resolution was that the Supreme Administrative Court has yet to come up with a judgement on whether the referendum results are binding. Also missing are the opinions of the parliamentary committees of Legal Affairs and of Regional Development. On Tuesday the Legal Affairs Committees defeated a motion to include in its weekly agenda a discussion of the draft resolution.

GERB floor leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov said in Parliament on Wednesday that the voters do not agree with the current arrangements for electing MPs and want a full-fledged majoritarian system. Tsvetanov was adamant that Parliament must pass a resolution on the three questions supported by the referendum: the introduction of a two-round majoritarian system with an absolute majority, compulsory voting and reduction of party subsidies to 1 lev per valid vote.

Over the last month and a half, the GERB Parliamentary Group has drafted a bill on the application of a full-fledged majoritarian system in parliamentary elections. Tsvetanov said that this draft legislation will be tabled to the legislature on Thursday.

Of the 3,488,558 voters who cast valid ballots at the November 6 referendum, 2,509,864 answered "yes" and 560,024 answered "no" to the question "Do you favour electing National Representatives by an absolute majority in a two-round majoritarian system?"

Speaking to reporters, Tsvetanov said that in the next Parliament as well, GERB will continue to insist on the introduction of a majoritarian voting system. "There is political will bit not political consensus among the other formation to do so," he said. Tsvetanov also said that apparently, president elect Rumen Radev too was "in solidarity with the emerging majority on this issue". Tsvetanov said that if Radev is true to the more than 2.5 million voters who want a change of the election system, he must heed their opinion. Tsvetanov also said that the Constitution does not set a time limit for dissolving Parliament.

Source: Sofia