site.btaUPDATED Public Has Little Information about Changes in Constitution, Shows Study
The public has very little information about the changes in the Constitution, indicate results from a nationally representative sociological study, titled "Public Attitudes to Changes in the Constitution". The data were presented a BTA press conference by Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives (BILI) Director Bilyana Gyaurova-Wegertseder.
The research was conducted by the Global Metrics agency on behalf of BILI. The questions were aimed to figure out to what extent Bulgarians are familiar with the process of changes in the Constitution, which of the proposals they consider important, which they support and which they do not support. The research also reflected attitudes towards the convening of a Grand National Assembly and the opinion of the public about what the changes in the Constitution will lead to. The survey was conducted between November 10 and 21 and involved just over 1,000 people.
Nearly 35% of those polled said that only partial changes to the Constitution are needed, and almost 32% did not know whether changes are needed or not, 14.4% believe that no changes are needed in the Constitution, and 18.7% want an entirely new basic law.
Some 27% of respondents said that it is dangerous to convene a Great National Assembly, 40.8% were of the opinion that such a step is not necessary. Nearly 48% of the survey participants had only the vaguest idea of the proposed changes to the Constitution, 47% had no idea of the proposed amendments. Only 5% were aware of the changes in the basic law, the survey data also indicated. Just over 52% were somewhat interested in the proposed changes to the Constitution, and another 37% were not interested.
The most frequently singled out needed changes to the Constitution were a judicial reform and mechanisms for the investigation of the prosecutor general. Just under 68% of respondents wanted to raise the standards when choosing the leadership of the independent regulators. Next in importance, people cited the mandates of the presidents of the supreme courts, the prosecutor general and the Supreme Judicial Council, the possibility of an individual constitutional appeal and the curtailment of the powers of the prosecutor general.
The poll results also indicated that 74.6% did not support changing the national holiday from March 3 to May 24.
Some 32% of respondent said that, with the changes in the Constitution, the situation will change for the better, but more than 32% could not assess whether there would be any results from the changes.
All these data indicate that there is no benefit in rushing to adopt the changes and that more time is needed to explain them, said Gyaurova-Wegertseder.