Rumen Radev: Fair Elections Are the Most Effective Guarantor of Democracy
The Head of State met representatives of the OSCE, participating in the Organisation’s observation mission to the upcoming parliamentary elections in Bulgaria
Fair elections are the most effective guarantor of democracy and, as a society and institutions, we must work for increasing trust in this tool of rule of law, stated President Rumen Radev at a meeting at the Presidency with representatives of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The Organisation’s representatives are part of the international observation mission to the parliamentary elections in Bulgaria on 4 April.
The Head of State mentioned that Bulgaria is facing the challenge of organising elections in the conditions of a pandemic situation for the first time and reiterated that in this regard, he had carried out several consultations with the institutions responsible for the electoral process, health authorities, parliamentary and non-parliamentary political formations, civil organisations and representatives of Bulgarian communities abroad. The goal of the meetings held was to undertake measures for guaranteeing the health and voting rights of citizens, as well as fairness, transparency and accessibility of the voting process, in order to motivate voter turnout. The legitimacy of every election is in the mass voting of citizens and the trust of society in the future parliament and government is their greatest asset, Mr. Rumen Radev emphasised.
Several topics regarding the organising and holding of the parliamentary elections were discussed during the meeting. Some of the main points of conversation were the conditions set out for citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote; organising enough mobile ballot boxes; the difficulties of processing results arising due to the simultaneous voting by machine and paper ballots; avoiding a high percentage of invalid ballots as in previous elections in Bulgaria; the debate regarding introducing video surveillance of vote counting and filling in electoral protocols, as well as the potential for implementing distance voting for Bulgarian citizens abroad.
The Head of the observation mission Corien Jonker underlined that it is the ninth observation mission of the OSCE to elections in Bulgaria and that it will be led in its work not in comparing to previous elections in Bulgaria or to elections in other countries, but to the standards and criteria of the international organisation in the field.