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The campaign for the European election begins

The campaign for the European election begins

26 April 2019 | 09:10 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The election campaign is starting for the European election that will be held on May 26. Today also marks the start of the pre-election radio and TV broadcasts about which the Central Election Commission (CEC) and the Council for Electronic Media signed an agreement with rules for transparency and objectivity.
Bulgaria elects 17 MEPs to the 751-seat European Parliament. The CEC let 13 parties, 8 coalitions and 6 initiative committees (independent) into the race. A total of 318 candidates will contest the election to the European Parliament, including one national of the Netherlands and one of Hungary. The barrier is 5.8%. The term for MEPs is 5 years.
For the first time Bulgarians will be given the opportunity to vote with machines in 3,000 polling stations across the country. The list of polling stations with voting machines is on the CEC website.
By April 30, Bulgarians could still ask for the opening of polling stations outside the country. This is done at the diplomatic and consular representations and on the CEC website. Until now, the number of requests is 4,482, including 4,221 through the CEC website.
The elections to the European Parliament will be held between May 23 and 26. All adult EU citizens can vote. The results from all 28 states will be announced on the evening of May 26.
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Aleksandar Andreev, election board: Machine voting will take place in all parts of the country

Aleksandar Andreev, election board: Machine voting will take place in all parts of the country

25 April 2019 | 15:06 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. There will be voting machines in all parts of the country, Central Election Commission Spokesperson Aleksandar Andreev said at a briefing, Focus News Agency reports. Ciela Norma has been awarded a contract to provide the 3,000 machines through hiring. The commission has also decided which polling stations will have voting machines and will soon publish the list on its website, Andreev said. The contract with the company will be concluded in the coming days, and the machines will be delivered to the stations by May 25.
A total of 318 candidates will participate in the election to the European Parliament, including 13 parties, 8 coalitions and 6 independent candidates.
Until now CEC has received 20 complaints and 5 reports of irregularities, one of which is about abuse of personal data and has been forwarded to the Commission for Personal Data Protection.
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Daniel Smilov, political scientist: Weaknesses of GERB and BSP will cause voters in the European election to vacillate

Daniel Smilov, political scientist: Weaknesses of GERB and BSP will cause voters in the European election to vacillate

16 April 2019 | 12:18 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The weaknesses of GERB and BSP parties will cause voters in the European election to vacillate, political scientist Daniel Smilov told Focus Radio’s Good Morning, Bulgaria. He said the low turnout, which is typical of European Parliament elections, is a battle between the hard cores. According to the Smilov, the ruling GERB's main resource has always been its leader Boyko Borissov – his participation in the election campaign will compensate for the party’s otherwise standard candidate list. "Both GERB and the [opposition] Bulgarian Socialist Party are entering this campaign with very serious weaknesses. For GERB, things are obvious – with ApartmentGate, I suppose, many people would think twice about supporting the party. It is true that Borissov is taking measures, but they will hardly be sufficient from the point of view of all his supporters, not to mention GERB’s softer periphery. BSP has also its major weaknesses. They relied on the fact that the Prosecutor's Office had made rather far-fetched allegations against Elena Yoncheva, almost accusing her of participation in an organised criminal group together with Tsvetan Vassilev, which did not only puzzle the public but aroused sympathy for her in most people. I guess that’s why she was chosen to lead the party’s list. However, Elena Yoncheva has her own serious weaknesses as a candidate. In this sense, corruption is an issue for both GERB and BSP, and the voter will have difficulty in choosing between the two,” the political scientist explained. In his words, the out-of-parliament right parties united in the Democratic Bulgaria has the best chances among the smaller parties for a positive outcome at the European elections amid the hesitating GERB voters, if, however, they manage to run a vigorous campaign as the ApartmentGate has focused all the attention on the main parties in the political spectrum, and this is dangerous to the “out-of-parliament Right”.
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