site.btaUPDATED Continue the Change Leader, Bulgarian Socialist Party MP Continue to Trade Accusations about Machine Voting Comments
Continue the Change co-leader and former prime minister Kiril Petkov and Bulgarian Socialist Party MP Georgi Svilenski Sunday continued their dispute about who said what about machine voting codes during a long parliamentary sitting on Friday which discussed Election Code amendments.
Appearing on bTV Petkov said that what he said in the plenary chamber was that machine voting codes should be audited and a provision to this effect – for audit of codes by external auditors, should be moved. Petkov said that Svilenski misrepresented his words and "decided to use a lie".
On Friday in Parliament Svilenski said that Petkov's words had been "Withdraw the law and I will give you the codes of the machines". Put this way, the statement means that Petkov asked the BSP to withdraw its proposal for return of paper ballot voting alongside machine voting, in return of which machine voting codes would be provided.
In his TV interview on Sunday Petkov stressed that what he said on Friday was "audit of codes". "I have never seen the codes. It is totally preposterous to allege that I said so, this is calumny," Petkov said.
Svilenski commented the controversy on Nova TV on Sunday. Commenting Petkov's intention to take him to court, the BSP MP said that "I fear Petkov will have to take to court the entire BSP parliamentary group". "I did not not accuse him of anything, I just quoted his words. I did not say he had the codes, but given that he can give them, there must be someone somewhere who has the codes," Svilenski said.
Another BSP MP, Borislav Goutsanov, too said on Nova TV that the Socialists have heard Petkov's words, "Withdraw the law and I will give you the codes of the machines".
Commenting the dispute with the BSP about the machine code on the Bulgarian National Radio, Continue the Change MP Miroslav Ivanov said that if his party or Democratic Bulgaria had known the code, they would not have had 73 MPs. "Mr Svilenski knows that the claim that Continue the Change has the machine code is not true," Ivanov said, adding that the voting process is organized by the Central Election Commission where the party does not have representatives. "At the moment the majority in the Central Election Commission belongs to GERB, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, and BSP," he said.