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ELECTIONS IN BULGARIA

2010.10.27 Един коментар
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By Mihail Konstantinov*

  1. History (1979-1989)
  2. The new Bulgarian state has been founded in 1878. The first elections in Bulgarian history were carried out in 1879, after the Russian-Turkish war that ended the Turkish rule over the country, by a simple majority election system. Only part of MP was actually elected, the others had been appointed on a quota principle by the Russian authorities. After that, in the period 1879-1944, Bulgaria was a democratic country with free elections exercising majority, proportional and mixed election systems. In 1935-1944 political parties were banned and elections were for persons rather than for party lists. In the period 1944-1989 the country has been ruled by the Communist Party and the election practice was far from the criteria for fair and free elections and referenda.

  3. Elections in the period 1990 – 2009

The first free elections after the fall of communism in 1989 and the change of the political system towards democracy were in June 1990. They were for electing a 400-member Great National Assembly and were carried out by a mechanically mixed election system. According to this system 200 MP were elected in single constituencies by absolute majority system in two rounds, and 200 MP elected from regional party lists by a nation wide proportional system.

In the period 1990-2009 the following elections have been held.

  • 1990 (June) Elections for Great National Assembly (400 MP)
  • 1991 (October) Elections for 36 National Assembly (240 MP)
  • 1991 (October) Local elections for mayors of municipalities and city halls & members of municipality councils. Mayors of administrative regions & members of regional councils were also elected in the three largest municipalities Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna
  • 1992 (January) Elections for President and Vice-President of the Republic
  • 1994 (December) Elections for 37 National Assembly
  • 1995 (October) Local elections for mayors of municipalities and city halls & for members of municipal councils
  • 1996 (October) Elections for President and Vice-President of the Republic
  • 1997 (April) Elections for 38 National Assembly
  • 1999 (October) Local elections for mayors of municipalities and city halls & for members of municipal councils
  • 2001 (June) Elections for 39 National Assembly
  • 2001 (November) Elections for President and Vice-President of the Republic
  • 2003 (October) Local elections for mayors of municipalities and city halls & for members of municipal councils
  • 2005 (June) Elections for 40 National Assembly
  • 2006 (October) Elections for President and Vice-President of the Republic
  • 2007 (May) Elections for members of the European Parliament from Bulgaria
  • 2007 (October) Local elections for mayors of municipalities and city halls & for members of municipal councils
  • 2009 (June) Elections for members of the European Parliament from Bulgaria
  • 2009 (July) Elections for 41 National Assembly

Forthcoming elections are scheduled as follows.

  • 2011 (October) Elections for President and Vice-President of the Republic
  • 2011 (October) Local elections for mayors of municipalities and city halls & for members of municipal councils

The parliamentary elections in 1994 and 1997 were special because of the dissolution of the parliament before its term ended. The parliamentary elections in 2001, 2005 and 2009 were regular because of the dissolution of Parliament when its full 4-year term ended.

  1. Types of elections

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, adopted July 12, 1991, there may be four types of general (nationwide) elections:

  1. Elections for members of (ordinary) National Assembly (240 MP elected)
  2. Elections for President and Vice-President of the Republic
  3. Local elections (for mayors & members of municipal councils)
  4. Elections for members of Great National Assembly (400 MP elected)
  5. Since 2007 we also have

  6. Elections for members of the European Parliament from Bulgaria

The Constitution does not define the type of election system for each type of elections. This is done by special laws adopted by the Parliament.

Elections of type 4 for electing a Great National Assembly (GNA) were held in 1990 in order to adopt the new Bulgarian Constitution. According to this Constitution, another GNA shall be elected if major changes in the Constitution have to be done. This possibility has been widely discussed in connection with the adoption of Bulgaria in the European Union on January 1, 2007, and the corresponding changes in the Constitution. We will not discuss elections of type 4 further on.

The Constitution defines the possibility of direct participation of the citizens in deciding state and local issues through referenda. The order of this direct participation is defined in the Law for Referenda adopted in 2000. A new Draft Law for Referenda waits in the 40 National Assembly for final adoption. Nationwide referenda have not been carried out since the adoption of the Constitution in 1991. At the same time municipal referenda for e.g. change of municipal boundaries have been carried out in several occasions. In the sequel we shall not discuss referenda.

According to the Constitution, elections as well as national and local referenda in Bulgaria shall be held on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

In 2004 the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria signed (together with other ministers from the member states of the Council of Europe) the Standards for e-voting developed by an ad hoc group of CE. Later in the same year a Draft Law for Electronic Voting was proposed in the 39 National Assembly. The same draft has been put forward in the 39 and 40 National Assemblies but is still not adopted.

  1. Parliamentary Elections

The most important elections are the parliamentary ones (type 1) since, by the rules of Constitution, Bulgaria is defined as a parliamentary republic. The Parliament is one-chamber and consists of 240 members. The control over the correspondence between the acts adopted by Parliament and the rules and regulations of Constitution is done by a specialized 12-member body – the Constitutional Court. Results from parliamentary and presidential elections may be contested only before this Court.

According to the Law for Election of National Representatives (adopted 1991, last modified 2009) the 240 MP are elected by a nationwide proportional system with a 4-percent barrier. There is also a possibility to elect independent candidates. Bulgarian citizen abroad may also vote in special polling stations in Bulgarian embassies and consulates abroad.

The election system may be characterized as a nationwide proportional system with regional personification of mandates, or a bi-proportional system. There are few such systems in the world election practice. Indeed, in nationwide proportional systems (Israel, Holland) the MP are usually elected form national lists. In the Bulgarian system they are elected from 31 regional lists. The system is slightly complicated and acts as follows.

  1. The country is divided into 31 election regions. A number of mandates is assigned to each election region proportionally to its population. This number varies from 4 mandates for small regions (like the Vidin and Gabrovo regions) to 14 mandates for the largest Varna region. There are about 12,000 polling stations in the country and 150-200 abroad.
  2. If a party or coalition has received at least 4 percent of the valid votes cast in the country and abroad then it takes part in the distribution of mandates. Other parties and coalitions do not receive any mandates. For example, if there is a total of 4,000,000 valid votes cast then the barrier for entering the parliament is 160,000 = 0.04 x 4,000,000 votes.
  3. An independent candidate may take part in the elections in only one of the election regions described in point a) above. An independent candidate shall be elected if he/she has received votes more than or equal to the regional quota. The latter is the least integer not less than the number of valid votes in the region divided to the number of preliminary assigned mandates for this region. For example, if there are 75,000 valid votes in a region with 5 preliminary assigned mandates then the regional quota is 15,000 = 75,000/5. If there are 75,001 valid votes then the quota is 15,001. If the candidate receives less votes (say 14,999 or less when the quota is 15,000) then he/she is not elected and these votes are lost. If the candidate receives more votes, say 25,000, then the extra 10,000 votes are also lost. If there are n independent candidates elected then the parties and coalitions shall receive the remaining 240 – n mandates. It is worth mentioning that in five consecutive elections (in 1991, 1994, 1997, 2001 and 2005) no independent candidate has been elected.
  4. The parties and coalitions passing the barrier receive mandates proportionally to the votes cast for them on a nationwide basis including the votes cast abroad. This distribution of the total number of mandates for each party or coalition is done by the standard D’Hondt method (more details about the particular variant of the method used are published by the authorities and may be found elsewhere). Suppose for example that party A has received 110 mandates, party B – 106 mandates and party C – 24 mandates (this distribution actually happened in 1991).
  5. The mandates for each party are personified (i.e. particular candidates are elected) from 31 regional party lists in the 31 election regions. This is done approximately proportional to the votes cast for the party in the election regions by a two-stage procedure. The first stage uses again the D’Hondt method. Here each of the 31 party lists for party A competes for a part of the total of 110 mandates of this party, see point d) above. Suppose that this gives a1 mandates in region 1, a2 mandates in region 2, etc. The sum a1 + a2 + … + a31 here is equal to 110. The same is done for party B, etc., resulting in b1 mandates for B in region 1, b2 mandates in region 2, etc. The problem here is that the sum of mandates for A, B and C in a given region may be different from the number of mandates presumed for this region. For example the sum a1 + b1 + c1 may be different from 11 which is the number of mandates preliminary determined for Election Region no. 1 (Blagoevgrad region).
  6. To eliminate eventual differences that may occur at step e), a second stage of the procedure is activated. This stage is a min-max optimization process for the price of regional mandates and is not performed by the D’Hondt method. As a result of the second stage of the procedure some mandates of a given party may be transferred from one election regional list to other lists of the same party. This may lead to inter-party irregularities in the distribution of mandates which sometimes causes accusations that the system is not fair. This disadvantage of the system is due to the fact that the party mandates are obtained proportionally to the votes cast for the party while the total number of mandates for each election region is preliminary determined proportionally to the population of the region. A possible way to solve the problem is to omit the predetermination of the total number of mandates for each region. This, however, may lead to a non-proportionally small number of mandates for smaller regions. Otherwise speaking, the system will be fair for the party as a whole but may not be fair for regional party activists. This latter problem may be overcome by augmenting the regions so that they shall contain approximately equal population (with a relative difference of maximum 50 percent). Theoretical considerations and numerical experiments carried out with data from real elections confirm these assertions. It is now time to convince the politicians to change the system.

To participate in the elections a party must deposit the sum of 20,000 levs which is about but less than 10,000 euro (1 euro is equal to 1.95 levs). A coalition must deposit 40,000 levs. The deposit is given back to parties or coalitions that have received at least one percent of the valid votes cast. The rule for deposits has been introduced by the changes and amendments to the Law for Election of National Representatives in 2005.

To participate in the elections an independent candidate must deposit the sum of 5,000 levs. The candidate must also present a list of signatures in support of his/her candidacy. The number of signatures depends on the size of the election region and is maximum 2,000 (for regions with 13 or more mandates). The deposit is given back to candidates which have received at least ¼ of the regional quota (see point e) above). This rule has also been introduced by the changes and amendments to the Law for Election of National Representatives in 2005.

If the term of office of a party MP is terminated preliminary he/she is replaced by the next candidate in the party list in the corresponding election region. If there are no more names in this list, or if the term of an independent MP is terminated preliminary, the corresponding parliamentary seat shall remain unoccupied.

The election process is managed by a 25-member Central Election Commission or CEC (appointed by the President based on proposals of the parliamentary represented parties and coalitions) and is carried out by 31 Regional Election Commissions or REC (appointed by CEC) and about 12,000 Polling Station Commissions, or PSC. The PSC in the country are appointed by the corresponding REC. The PSC abroad are appointed by the Bulgarian ambassadors.

The vote turn out abroad in parliamentary elections is usually less than one percent of the vote in the country and usually has little effect on the result. In 2005, however, the vote abroad reached about 2 percent (mainly due to votes from Turkey) of the total vote and led to the election of a total of 4-5 MP.

The term of Parliament is 4 years and parliamentary elections are carried out every 4 years in the regular case. If the Parliament is preliminary dissolved there are special elections within 60 days after the dissolution. In this period the Government resigns and the country is ruled by an interim government appointed by the President of the Republic.

  1. Elections for members of the European Parliament from Bulgaria
  2. Elections for members of the European Parliament from Bulgaria were carried out for the first time in May, 2007 for electing a total of 18 persons (this was the Bulgarian quota in 2007 and 2009). The Hare-Nimajer method (or the greatest remainder method with Hare quota) was used to distribute the mandates among national party lists. There was a barrier of 1/18 (or approximately 5.56%) of valid votes for parties taking part in the distribution of seats. Independent candidates could also participate in the elections. Only five parties managed to gain a seat and no independent candidate had been elected.

  3. Presidential Elections
  4. Presidential elections are governed by the Law for Presidential Elections (adopted 1991, last modified 2006).

    The presidential elections are held by a standard absolute majority system in two rounds. According to the Constitution (art. 93, par. 3), a candidate pair President/Vice-President is elected if this pair has received more than half of the valid votes and more than half of the voters had voted. Respectively, if no pair has received more than half of the votes or if less than half of voters have voted, there is a second round of the elections. In this second round the first two pairs take part. The pair having more votes at the second round is elected independently on the turnout.

    Recently there has been a wide discussion on this constitutional text and especially on the requirement that for electing a president at the first tour more than half of the voters must vote. There were at least four obligations. First, the database for the Bulgarian voters is not precise (for example, more than one million Bulgarian citizen leave abroad and the data about their status are not reliable). Thus, in case when there is a winning pair but approximately half of the voters have voted at the first round, a legal crisis may occur independently on whether a winner will or will not be declared. Second, an absurd situation may occur when a person votes for his favorite candidate but his/her vote only contributes to the victory of some other candidate immediately at the first round. Third, the requirement for 50 percent turnout is not valid for the second round of presidential elections according to a previous decision of the Constitutional Court. Thus it is not clear why this requirement shall be valid for the first tour only. And fourth, such a requirement is seldom in European and world election practice.

    The presidential elections are carried out every five years in the regular case. The President’s authority shall expire before the term of office in case of death, resignation submitted before the Constitutional Court, lasting incapacitation caused by grave illness, or high treason or violation of the Constitution. In these cases in the remaining part of the mandate the duty of President is performed by the Vice-President. When the Vice-President is incapable of assuming the President’s duties, or his/her authority expires before the term of office in the same cases as the President’s authority, the President’s prerogatives shall be assumed by the Chairperson (Speaker) of the Parliament. In this case new presidential elections shall be held within two months.

    To take part in the elections a candidate pair must deposit the sum of 5,000 levs and to present a list of 15,000 signatures of voters who support the participation of this pair. The deposit is given back to candidates who have received at least one percent of the valid votes.

    The election process is managed by a Central Election Commission (CEC) appointed by the National Assembly, 31 Regional Election Commissions (REC) appointed by CEC and about 12,000 Polling Station Commissions (PSC) appointed by REC in the country and abroad. The PSC abroad are appointed by the Bulgarian ambassadors.

    The vote turnout abroad in presidential elections is usually less than one percent of the vote in the country and has no actual effect on the result. In 2006 it was more than 2 percent but also did not affect the result.

  5. Local Elections
  6. Local elections are governed by the Law for Local Elections (adopted 1999, last modified 2003).

    Local elections are held for (i) mayors of municipalities (about 265 in the whole country), (ii) mayors of City halls, and (iii) members of municipal councils. Before that, in 1991, mayors of administrative regions in the major cities Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna as well as members of regional councils had also been elected. This latter practice was used again in 2007.

    The mayors are elected by a standard absolute majority system in two rounds like in the presidential elections. In this case, however, there is no requirement that more than half of the voters must vote at the first round. A candidate is elected if he/she has received more than half of the valid votes. If no candidate is elected at the first round there is a second round with the participation of the first two candidates. If two or more candidates have received the second largest number of votes then they participate in the second round together with the first candidate. If three or more candidates have received the largest number of votes then all of them participate in the second round.

    The members of municipal councils are elected by a proportional system with no barrier and using the standard D’Hondt method. In 2007 the Hare-Nimajer method was used instead of the D’Hondt method. Party candidates are elected from party lists. An independent candidate may also be elected if he/she has received at least the corresponding quota which is equal to the valid votes cast for municipal council divided to the number of seats in the council. If the quota is not integer then it is rounded to the next whole number. An independent candidate must present a list of signatures in support of his/her candidacy. The number of signatures depends on the size of the municipality. Unlike independent candidates for Parliament, independent candidates for municipal councils have been elected in many municipalities including the capital Sofia.

    The number of members of a municipal council depends on the size of the municipality starting from 11 members for smallest municipalities and ending with 61 members for the largest municipality Sofia.

    Mayors and members of municipal councils are elected for a 4-year term. Since 1991 this term starts (and ends) in the end of October.

    If the term of office of a party member of a municipal council is terminated preliminary he/she is replaced by the next candidate in the party list. If there are no more names in the list, or if the term of an independent member is terminated preliminary, the corresponding seat in the council remains unoccupied.

    If the term of a mayor is terminated preliminary then there are partial elections for a new mayor. If there is one year or less until the end of the term of office then no elections are held and the duty of mayor is performed by one of his/her deputies.

    The election process is managed by a Central Election Commission (CEC) appointed by the President based on proposals of the parliamentary represented parties and coalitions, 265 Municipality Election Commissions (MEC) appointed by CEC and about 12,000 Polling Station Commissions (PSC) appointed by MEC in the country. No voting abroad is allowed in local elections.

    The territory of polling stations in the country remains approximately the same during all nationwide and partial elections.

  7. Election technologies
  8. The voting lists (roles) are printed from a central database. This database is currently updated. The responsible institution for managing and printing the voter lists is the Main Directorate for Administrative Services of the Population with the Council of Ministers. The information for updating the lists is provided by the regional units of the Directorate under the supervision of the mayors. Data for the movement of Bulgarian citizens through the state boundaries, provided by the Ministry of Interior, was also used in order to update the voter lists. After the adoption of Bulgaria in the European Union this data is practically not in use.

    The voting is done by paper ballots. For parliamentary elections there is an integral ballot paper with the names of parties and the names of first three candidates of the party or coalition in the corresponding election region (for voting abroad there are no names of candidates since the votes are accounted for only at a nationwide level). The order of parties and coalitions in the ballot paper is determined by ties.

    For presidential elections voting is also by integral ballot papers with the names of candidate pairs ordered by ties. The order of candidate pairs in the ballot paper is decided by ties.

    For local elections there are still separate paper ballots for different parties, coalitions and independent candidates. It is expected that integral ballot papers will soon be introduced for local elections as well.

    The ballots are counted by PSC after the end of voting which lasts from 06:00 to 19:00. Each PSC produces a protocol on a 3-level indigo sheet resulting in 3 identical copies of the protocol. There are several control equalities and inequalities for the numerical data in the protocol which must be fulfilled in order to consider the protocol technically admissible. The protocol is then signed by all members of PSC.

    The first copies of the protocols are presented to REC (in case of parliamentary, European and presidential elections) or to MEC (in case of local elections). The REC (respectively MEC) processes the protocols in its computer center and creates a regional database with the results. The REC produce their own protocols containing the augmented data in the corresponding election region. The REC protocols are sent to CEC.

    The second copies of PSC protocols are presented to CEC. The CEC processes the protocols and creates a central database with the results. Further on the database from REC and the database from CEC are compared and eventual differences are explained and corrected by CEC. As a result an updated database is created. The members of the National Assembly and the European Parliament, as well as the winning presidential pair, are then determined on the basis of this updated database.

    The information processing procedure for local elections is similar. The candidates for mayors and members of municipal councils are declared elected by MEC. Copies of PSC protocols are presented to CEC and processed for a second time therein.


    All results for all polling stations and all participants in the elections have been published on paper in the Bulletin of CEC since 1991 and are also provided on a technical carrier to all interested subjects. In this way each voter may check whether the results from his/her polling station are correctly taken into account in the augmented national database of results. The parties may also check whether their observations and estimations of the results correspond to the official database.

    For all parliamentary and presidential elections since 1991 there was not a single complaint for incorrectly accounted data. In particular no contest in such election has been raised before the Constitutional Court. Elections in Turkey have been contested in 2009 but for other reasons. For local elections, however, there have been a number of contests (before Regional Administrative Courts and after that before the Supreme Administrative Court). These contests were, in general, not connected with the accounting of data but rather with other types of election irregularities.

    In addition to the above procedures, intermediate and final results from all types of elections are also published in the web site of CEC during and after the elections.


    No postal or other form of distant voting is used. Electronic voting (via Internet or by digital phones) has been discussed. There is a draft law for e-voting presented at the 39 National Assembly in October, 2004. In this draft law the Recommendations of the Council of Ministers of the country-members of the Council of Europe (adopted in September, 2004) has been taken into account. The same draft was again proposed to the 40 National Assembly in 2005. Unfortunately, there is no visible progress in the development of this important issue since then. An experimental e-voting by voting machines has been used in 2009 elections but only for 9 polling stations.

  9. Contest of elections
  10. As mentioned above, no parliamentary or presidential elections were contested in recent 19 years (according to the Constitution and election laws this contest may be done before the Constitutional Court) due to miscounting of votes. The contest in the 2009 general elections has been on the basis of improperly opened polling stations and incomplete documentation from several polling stations in Turkey. However, a number local elections both for mayors and municipal councils were contested before the Regional Administrative Courts and then before the Supreme Administrative Court. Some of the contests against the election of mayors have been accepted. As a result a number of partial local elections had been held. Some contents against the election of members of municipality councils for the 2007 nation wide local elections have also been accepted.

    Partial local elections for mayors are also carried out because of permanent disability of mayors to perform their duties as well because of dismissal of mayors by courts for activities incompatible with their duties (for example participation in governing bodies of economic enterprises). It also happens that mayors become members of Parliament which also results in partial local elections.

  11. Financing of political parties
  12. The political life in Bulgaria is carried out via the activity of political parties. There are more than 300 parties in Bulgaria but only about 60 of them have the right to participate in elections. The other parties are banned from such participation for breaking some of the financial rules for party activity. After fulfilling the necessary requirements the right of a party to participate in elections may be restored.

    The activity of political parties is regulated by the Law for Political Parties (adopted 2004, last modified 2005). This activity is financed by party own sources and by state subsidies. All parties that are legally registered and have received more than one percent of the valid votes at the last parliamentary elections receive each year a state subsidy of two euro per vote (until recently the rate was one euro per vote).


    The parties cannot be involved in economic or business activities. They may not receive anonymous donations; donations from one and the same natural (physical) person, if they exceed 10,000 levs within the calendar year; donations from one and the same legal (juridical) person, if they exceed 30,000 levs within the calendar year; funds from trade companies with more than 5 per cent state or municipal share or related to such companies persons, as well as from state and municipal enterprises; funds from contractors of public procurement contract or from persons entered in a privatization procedure; funds from organizers of gambling games; funds from religious institutions or from non-profit legal persons performing activity in favor of the society; funds from foreign governments or foreign state enterprises, foreign trade companies or foreign non-profit entities.

    The finance control over the activity of political parties is done by the state Accountancy Chamber. The parties shall draw up a financial report to the Chamber with information about all finance operations for the previous year. The fairs for breaking the rules in financing the parties are up to 2,000 levs. In cases of non-submission or late submission of the financial reports, the political parties shall loose their right of state subsidy and shall not participate in elections for a 3-year period.

    For each of the national elections (parliamentary, European, presidential and local) there are special rules for financing of the pre-election campaign. These rules are fixed in the corresponding laws for carrying out the elections. For example, a party may use at most 1,000,000 levs, and a coalition may use at most 2,000,000 levs in the campaign for parliamentary elections. These sums are usually multiply exceeded.

  13. Role of electronic and paper media in elections
  14. The state television and the state radio must provide time (free of charge) for introductory and closing declarations of parties and coalitions registered in parliamentary, European and presidential elections. Independent candidates participating in parliamentary and local elections may use local divisions of the state governed electronic media for the above purpose.

    The private media are free to publish any material in the pre-election campaign under equal conditions for all participants in the elections and under the condition that any material is not offending for the candidates. In case of offend the media must publish a counter material of the same size provided by the offended side.

  15. Results from elections held in 19902009

The political results from the elections in the above period are as follows.

  • 1990 (10 and 17 June) Elections for Great National Assembly (400 MP). Won by Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) with 211 MP. Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) had 144 MP, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) had 23 MP and Agrarian Party has 16 MP. The rest of mandates went to smaller parties. There were also 2 independent MP
  • 1991 (13 October) Elections for 36 National Assembly (240 MP). Won by UDF with 110 MP. BSP had 106 MP and MRF had 24 MP
  • 1991 (13 October) Local elections for mayors and members of municipality councils
  • 1992 (12 and 19 January) Elections for President and Vice-President of the Republic. Won by Mr. Jelio Jelev – candidate of UDF
  • 1994 (14 December) General elections for 37 National Assembly. Won by BSP with 125 MP. UDF had 69 MP, coalition Peoples Union – 18 MP, MRF – 15 MP and party Bulgarian Business Block (BBB) – 13 MP
  • 1995 (29 October) Local elections for mayors and members of municipal councils. Mayors of administrative regions and members of regional councils were also elected in the three largest municipalities Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna
  • 1996 (26 October and 3 November) – Elections for President and Vice-President of the Republic. Won by Mr. Petar Stoyanov – candidate of UDF
  • 1997 (19 April) Elections for 38 National Assembly. Won by UDF with 137 MP. BSP had 58 MP, MRF – 19 MP, party European Left – 14 MP and BBB – 12 MP
  • 1999 (26 October) Local elections for mayors and members of municipal councils
  • 2001 (17 June) Elections for 39 National Assembly. Won by coalition “National Movement Simeon the Second” (NMSS) with 120 MP. Next is UDF with 51 MP, BSP with 48 MP and MRF with 21 MP
  • 2001 (11 and 18 November) Elections for President and Vice-President of the Republic. Won by Mr. Georgi Parvanov – candidate of BSP
  • 2003 (26 October) Local elections for mayors and members of municipal councils
  • 2005 (25 June) Elections for 40 National Assembly. The results were BSP – 82 MP, NMSS – 53 MP, MRF – 34 MP, party “Ataka” (Assault) – 21 MP, UDF – 20 MP, party “Democrats for Strong Bulgaria” (DSB) – 17 MP and coalition “Bulgarian National Union” – 13 MP
  • 2006 (22 and 29 October) Elections for President and Vice-President of the Republic. A second presidential mandate won by Mr. Georgi Parvanov who competed as independent candidate strongly supported by BSP and MRF
  • 2007 (20 May) Elections for Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Bulgaria. The results are: the newly established party GERB (Citizen for European Development of Bulgaria) – 5 mandates, BSP – 5 mandates, MRF – 4 mandates, “Ataka” – 3 mandates and NMSS – 1 mandate (a total of 18 mandates for Bulgaria).

  • 2009 (7 June) Elections for Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Bulgaria. The results are: GERB – 5 mandates, BSP – 4 mandates, MRF – 3 mandates, “Ataka” – 2 mandates, NMSS – 2 mandates and “The Blue coalition” (a coalition between UDF and DSB) – 1 (a total of 17 mandates for Bulgaria). An additional 18-th mandate was given to Bulgaria after the adoption of the Lisboa Treaty. This mandate was given to the Blue coalition due to its unrealized largest remainder.
  • 2009 (5 July) Elections for 41 National Assembly. The results were GERB – 116 MP, BSP – 40 MP, MRF – 38 MP, party “Ataka” (Assault) – 21 MP, The Blue coalition – 15 MP and party “Order, law and justice” – 10. Several months later the Constitutional Court reduced the number of MP-s of MRF with one seat and gave it to GERB. The electoral system (highly criticized before the elections) has been mechanically mixed: with 209 MP-s elected by a proportional system (as in all election during 1991 – 2005) and 31 – by a plurality system with simple majority.

  1. Electoral Code

The first variant of the Electoral Code designed to augment and unify all legal acts governing the elections has been developed by the Bulgarian Institute of Analyses and Research (now the Agency of Prognoses and Analyses) with the aid of the American Program “Democratic Network” in 1997-1998 under the supervision of the author. A second variant of the Code has been developed and has been discussed in the 39-th and 40-th National Assemblies but has not been adopted.

Nowadays (September 2010) a third variant of the Code is being developed and there are hopes that this time it will finally become a legal act.

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* Prof. Dr. Mihail Mihaylov Konstantinov (UNIVERSITY OF ARCHITECTURE, CIVIL ENGINEERING AND GEODESY, Faculty of TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING, Department “Mathematics)

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