Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Libertas branch in Bulgaria denied EP election registration

Coalition "Libertas-free citizens" have been denied registration for the European Parliament elections by the Bulgarian Central Electoral Commission. The coalition submitted its documents for registration yesterday (May 13th) just minutes before the registration deadline. However, according to Commission officials the set of documents was missing an important piece - a bank order proving the payment of the deposit for participation in the elections. Instead, there was a note saying that the deposit of 100 000 Bulgarian leva (~50 000 EUR) could be paid only by the "oligarchs".

Mr. Ganley's Libertas won't get any MEPs from Bulgaria. Photo: dailylife.com

The issue of the electoral deposit was also raised by the "Greens" in Bulgaria who claimed the raised requirements (from 15 to 50 thousand leva for parties and from 20 to 100 thousand for coalitions) hinders democracy and is aimed at stopping civic formations from breaking the political status-quo. Most European countries do not require deposits for election participation while some apply symbolically low financial thresholds. Still, unlike the Libertas branch, the "Greens" managed to raise enough donations and registered for the elections yesterday. If they manage to get more than 1% of the vote they will get their money back.

The Electoral Commission registered 3 coalitions and 10 political parties which will contest the 17 Bulgarian seats in the next European Parliament.

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