Bulgaria's top court scraps penalty for not voting

Bulgaria's top court scraps penalty for not voting Tupungato/Shutterstock.com

SOFIA (Bulgaria), February 23 (SeeNews) – Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court said on Thursday that the introduction of penalties for not voting in elections breaches the constitution.

According to the constitution, the recently adopted article in the Electoral Code requiring the authorities to delete from the electoral roll all eligible voters who do not cast ballots contravenes the right of voting which is an irrevocable fundamental civil right in Bulgaria, the Constitutional Court said in a statement.

Compulsory voting was introduced in Bulgaria as part of a set of amendments to the Electoral Code, adopted in April 2016. Those who do not vote in two consecutive elections of the same kind - local, general or presidential - without a solid reason have to be deleted from the list of Bulgarian voters. Deregistered voters could only be signed back on the electoral roll after submitting a request to the competent authorities.

Thursday's ruling does not question the introduction of mandatory voting.

Bulgaria will hold early parliamentary elections on March 26.

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