site.btaInterior Minister: "We Have Information that a Vote Trades for as Much as BGN 150"
"We have information that a vote trades for as much as BGN 150," Interior Minister Ivan Demedzhiev told reporters Friday. The payment is made in tranches: a part before and the rest after the elections, and the pressure from vote dealers has increased, he also said.
Bulgarians will be voting for a new Parliament on April 2.
Under the effective legislation, vote buying carries a prison sentence of up to six years upon conviction, as well as a fine of BGN 10,000 to BGN 20,000 and a ban on taking certain public offices. Selling one's vote is punishable by a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of BGN 1,000 to BGN 5,000.
The Minister said that 48 pre-trial cases have opened for violations of electoral rights. He added that the number is larger than before the previous elections and that people have been detained.
In another trend, what the Minister called "corporate voting" has become more wide-spread. "At companies with many workers, the management is not merely trying - they are telling the workers how to vote," the Minister said.
He added that the Interior Ministry has managed to link cash flows to parties but would not say which these parties are.
"Alerts for vote trade come everywhere, round the clock," Demerdzhiev also said.
He said that this week police operations against vote trade will be held on a daily basis across the country with the aim of prevention.