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REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA
 



PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS ACT



Promulgated State Gazette No 82/04.10.1991 Amended SG Nos. 98/1991, 44/1996; 59/1998; 24 & 80/2001; 90/2001(effective September 18, 2001)

Article 1

This Act defines the procedure whereby the President and the Vice President of the Republic shall be elected.

Article 2

(1) The elections of President and Vice President shall be conducted simultaneously and throughout the country on the same non-workday.

(2) The President and the Vice President shall be elected on the same list of candidates.

Article 2a

The organization and technical preparation of the elections shall be carried out by the Council of Ministers, the District Governors and the mayors.

Article 3

(1) Candidates for President and Vice President may be nominated by the political parties and coalitions through the persons representing them, or by no fewer than 15,000 voters through an nomination committee.

(2) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) To be eligible to nominate candidates for President and Vice President, a party or coalition must meet the requirements of the Political Parties Act and the requirements of the present Act.

(3) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) To nominate candidates for President and Vice President, voters must form a nomination committee of at least 21 voters, which shall register with the Central Elections Commission.

Article 4

Candidates for President and Vice President must meet the requirements of Articles 93 to 95 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Article 5
(Amended, SG No. 80/2001)

(1) No later than 50 days before the date of the elections of President and Vice President, the National Assembly shall elect a Central Electionsl Commission for holding the elections.

(2) The Central Elections Commission shall consist of 21 members, including a chairman, vice chairmen and a secretary. The chairman, vice chairmen and the secretary must be nominated by different political parties and coalitions.

(3) In the process of determining the composition and the leadership of the Central Electionsl Commission, the basic proportions among the political parties and coalitions, represented in the National Assembly, must be preserved, and none of them shall enjoy a majority.

(4) The members of the Central Elections Commission are Bulgarian citizens of higher education, and a majority of these must have a legal background.

(5) Members of the National Assembly, candidates for President and Vice President, justices of the Constitutional Court and of the Supreme Administrative Court, Principal Secretaries of the Council of Ministers (the National Assembly, the administration of the President or of Ministries) members of the political cabinet of the Prime Minister, of Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Chairmen of State Agencies, as well as servicemen in the armed forces or employees of the Ministry of Interior may not be members of the Central Elections Commission.

Article 6

(1) The candidates for President and Vice President shall be entered by the Central Elections Commission in a special register upon presentation of the following documents:

1. (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) Nomination by the national leadership of the respective party or coalition, which shall set forth the candidates` full names, personal numbers, and residence addresses, or by the nomination committee of voters with the candidates` full names, personal numbers, residence addresses, and accompanied by a list of names, personal numbers and signatures of no fewer than 15,000 voters;

2. Affidavit to the effect that the candidate has resided in the country for the past five years.

3. The candidate's statement of acceptance regarding the nomination.

4. Bank document for deposit paid pursuant to Article 6a.

(2) Candidates for President and Vice President shall be registered no later than thirty-five days before election day.

(3) The Central Elections Commission shall register the candidates of parties, coalitions and nomination committees, as well as the number of the ballot-paper for the respective list of candidates. Ballot- papers shall be white.

(4) The number of the ballot-paper of the individual lists shall be determined by the Central Elections Committee by means of drawing lots, after their registration.

(5) The documents submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be filed by sequence numbers. The sequence of submission shall determine the sequence of entry in the register of the Central Elections Commission.

Article 6a

(1) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) Upon putting forward a nomination for President and Vice President the parties, political coalitions and the nomination committees shall deposit to an account with the Bulgarian National Bank election non-interest-bearing deposit to the amount of 5,000 Leva.

(2) After announcement of the final election results by decision of the Central Elections Commission the deposits shall be reimbursed to the political parties, coalitions and nomination committees the candidates of which have received not less than 1 percent of the valid votes.

Article 7
(Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 8

(1) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) No later than twenty-five days before election day, the Central Elections Commission shall publish the lists of candidates with their full names, personal numbers and residence addresses and the nominating party, coalition or nomination committee in State Gazette.

(2) (New, SG No. 24/2001) The Central Elections Commission shall announce the information from the report under Article 6, paragraph 2, items 1, 5, and 7 of the Access to The Documents of The Former State Security and The Former Intelligence Department of The General Staff Act about registered candidates at the locations where the lists of candidates are announced.

Article 9

Voting shall be effected by white ballot-papers in conformity with a sample approved by the Central Elections Commission. A ballot-paper shall set forth:

1. The number of the ballot-paper determined by the Central Elections Commission by means of drawing lots;

2. The name of the political party or coalition, or the inscription "nomination committee", which have registered the respective list.

3. The full names of the candidates for President and Vice President.

Article 10
(Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 10a

The elections for President and Vice President shall be conducted on the basis of voter registries.

Article 10b
(Amended, SG No. 80/2001)

(1) No later than 30 days before elections day the elections lists are composed and announced under the terms and procedure of Title Three of the Election of Members of the National Assembly Act.

(2) Elections sections are set up under the terms and procedure of Art. 40 and 41 of the Election of Members of the National Assembly Act. In diplomatic and consular missions elections sections are set up on condition that no less than 10 voters have expressed their desire to vote by means of a written application, containing the name, place and date of birth, the series and number of the passport.

(3) No less than seven days before elections day municpal administrations and mayoralties submit to the regional elections commissions copies of the registers of the certificates issued for voting elsewhere.

Article 10c
(Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 10d
(Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 10e
(Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 10f
(Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 10g
(Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 10h
(Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 10i

(1) For the purpose of holding elections for President and Vice Pesident the territory of this country shall be divided into 31 election regions, coinciding with the election regions for the last elections of people's deputies.

(2) (Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

(3) (Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

(4) (Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 10k
(Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 10l

(1) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) For the purpose of holding elections the following shall be formed:

1. Central Elections Commission - for the entire country. The commission functions until the entry into office of the President and Vice Pesident;

2. Regional elections commissions - in each elections region;

3. Section elections commissions - in each elections section.

(2) (Amended, SG No. 80 & 90/2001) Persons included as members of the elections commissions shall be relieved of their official duties for the time necessary for work at the respective commissions. They shall be entitled to unpaid official leave for such period of time, which shall be recognized as length of service in their specialty or paid annual leave they are entitled to. The monthly remuneration of members of the Central Elections Commission shall be determined by the National Assembly, and the remuneration of members of other elections commissions - by the Central Elections Commission.

(3) (Amended, SG No. 80 & 90/2001) Regional elections commissions shall be appointed by the Central Elections Commission not later than 45 days prior to the elections day, by proposal of district governors and in consulation with representatives for the respective election region, authorized by the national leaderships of political parties and coalitions represented in the National Assembly. Where no agreement has been reached the district governors shall propose to the Central Elections Commission membership of the regional elections commissions in compliance with the requirements of Art. 5, para. 3 5.

(4) Section elections commissions shall be appointed not later than 35 days prior to the election day, by proposal of mayors of municipalities in consultation with the local leaderships of political parties and coalitions represented in the National Assembly. Where no agreement has been reached, mayors of municipalities shall propose to regional elections commissions membership of the section elections commissions in compliance with the representation of political parties and coalitions in the National Assembly.

(5) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) By proposal of the representatives of the political parties and coalitions under paragraphs (3) and (4) as members of the regional and section elections commissions may also be nominated representatives of extra-Parliamentary political parties and coalitions, as well as non-party members and representatives of the nomination committees under Art.3, para.3

Article 10m

(1) A regional elections commission shall comprise a Chairman, two Deputy Chairmen, a secretary and 3 to 7 members. The majority of the members of the regional elections commission should be lawyers, if possible.

(2) A section elections commission shall comprise a Chairman, Deputy Chairman, a secretary and up to 4 members.

(3) In the course of determining the membership and leadership of regional and section elections commissions the basic ratio shall be retained as between political parties and coalitions represented in the National Assembly.

Article 10n

(1) The Central Elections Commission shall:

1. (New, SG No. 80/2001) register the candidates for President and Vice President;

2. (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) supervise the implementation of this Act, and shall exercise methodological management of the operations of regional and section elections commissions, and shall consider appeals against acts and actions of regional elections commissions. It shall announce final decisions thereon within 24 hours and notify such decisions;

3. set forth the terms and procedures for participation in the elections of observers from this country and from abroad, and shall provide them with the respective document;

4. set forth by decision the terms and conditions for conducting election campaign in the national and local mass media;

5. supervise the conducting of the election campaign in the national mass media;

6. register observers of the candidates for President and Vice President and issue certificates thereto according to an established specimen;

7. assign by competitive tender the computer processing of data from the elections and the issue of bulletin with elections results;

8. determine the number of ballot-papers by drawing lots.

(2) (Amended, SG No. 59/1998) Decisions of the Central Elections Commission under para.1, items 1 (including refusal to register candidates for President and Vice President), 3, 7 and 8 shall be subject to appeal before the Supreme Administrative Court within 3 days following their notification. The Court shall consider the appeal within 3 days of the receipt thereof at an open sitting, and shall summon the appellant, the Central Elections Committee and the parties concerned. The decision of the court shall be final.

(3) The regional elections commissions:

1. supervise the implementation of this Act on the territory of the election region and exercise control over actions of their section elections commissions, as well as over the timely and proper formation of election sections;

2. supervise the timely compilation and announcement of voter registries, as well as the issue of licences for voting elsewhere;

3. (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) consider appeals against decisions and actions of the section elections commissions and announce their decisions within 24 hours, which shall be final;

4. submit to the Central Elections Commission the protocols from section elections commissions;

5. control the conduct of the election campaign in local mass media. 6. (New, SG No. 80/2001) deliver to the Central Elections Commission copies of the documents under Art. 10b, para.3 not later than 3 days before elections day.

(4) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) Decisions of the regional elections commissions shall be subject to appeal before the Central Elections Commission within 3 days of the announcement thereof.

(5) Section elections commissions:

1. (New, SG No. 80/2001) monitor compliance with this Act in the elections premises and in the vicinity of the sections;

2. (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) prepare, organize and ensure the free and peaceful voting at election sections and ensure access for voting to persons with physical disabilities;

3. (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) count the votes, prepare in compliance with a specimen the protocols for voting results and submit them to the respective regional elections commission within 24 hours following the completion of voting, following which within the same term they submit the remaining papers and materials to the municipal administration;

4. consider appeals and decide on them forthwith.

5. (New, SG No. 80/2001) announce in a public location the results of the vote.

(6) On elections day the instructions of the Chairman of the section elections commission shall be mandatory for all persons within the elections premises. These instructions may be repealed by decision of the section elections committee.

(7) The protocols of the respective election commission shall be signed by all members of the commission on each and every page. Any member of the commission who does not agree with the contents of the protocol shall sign it by stating dissenting opinion which shall be entered in the protocol. Where for some objective reasons a member of the commission is prevented from signing the protocol, that should be explicitly indicated together with the reasons thereof. The failure of a member of the commission to sign the protocol for some personal, political or other reasons shall not invalidate it.

Article 10o
(New, SG No. 80/2001)

The election campaign shall be opened as of the day of publication of the names of the candidates in the State Gazette and shall be concluded 24 hours before the elections day.

Article 11

Throughout the election campaign, candidates shall receive equal coverage in the news programmes of the national mass media.

Article 11a

(1) The election campaign shall start and end with adresses of the candidates for President and Vice President broadcasted by the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio, whereas the sequence of adresses shall be determined by drawing lots according to procedure specified by the Central Elections Commission.

(2) The Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio shall prepare blocks of speeches of not less than two but not more than six pairs of candidates per day. The candidates on the lists for President and Vice President shall have seven minutes for their addresses at the start of the campaign and five minutes at the end of the campaign.

(3) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) The Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio shall provide for disputes television and radio broadcast time of 120 minutes once per week.

(4) Half of the time for disputes under paragraph (3) shall be distributed between the lists for President and Vice President registered by the political parties and coalitions represented in the National Assembly, pro rata to their representation. The other half of the time under paragraph (3) shall be distributed in equal parts to the lists for President and Vice President registered by political parties and coalitions which are not represented in the National Assembly or by nomination committees, but not more than five minutes per list of candidates.

(5) The order of presentation in the disputes broadcasted by the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio shall be set by drawing lots.

(6) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) The teams and the conditions for realization of the disputes shall be determined jointly by the General Directors of the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio and the authorised representatives of the candidates for President and Vice President registered for participation in the elections.

(7) The regional television centers, the regional radio stations, the municipal and local radio broadcasting units shall provide up to two hours of television and radio broadcasting time per week for pre-election broadcasts.

(8) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) The Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio, the regional television and radio centers shall include in their election chronicles reports about processions, meetings, concerts and other events organized by parties, coalitions and independent candidates, in compliance with the principle of equality in respect of duration, time and variable sequence of broadcasts.

Article 11b

(1) The regional television centers, the regional radio stations, the local and municipal radio broadcasting units shall provide up to two hours television and radio broadcasting time for disputes.

(2) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) The procedure for holding the disputes and the participation of the candidates shall be determined according to Article 11a.

(3) Entitled to participation in television and radio disputes shall be the candidates for President, Vice President and their observers, within the time period they are entitled to.

Article 11c

(1) In case a second round of elections is to be held, the candidates shall be entitled to make addresses by broadcasts of the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio on the last day of the election campaign between the two rounds, within a time limit of 10 minutes, whereas the sequence of addresses shall be determined by drawing lots by procedure set forth by the Central Elections Commission.

(2) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) By mutual agreement throughout the period between the two rounds, within the specified broadcast time by the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio, the candidates may hold disputes of duration up to 60 minutes. The procedure for holding the dispute shall be determined according to Article 11a.

(3) The events under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not be paid by the candidates.

Article 11d

(1) The participation in the pre-election disputes on the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio shall be paid prior to broadcasting and according to tariffs specified by the Council of Ministers.

(2) The addresses of the candidates shall be free of charge.

(3) The television and radio stations and the cable television operators owned by natural and legal persons may provide broadcast time for the election campaign of the candidates at equal prices announced in advance.

(4) (Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 11e

(1) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) In case of violations of the order for conducting the election campaign by an operator holding a license with nationwide coverage the candidates concerned may file claims with the Central Elections Commission. The claims shall be considered provided they have been submitted within 24 hours of the respective broadcast.

(2) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) In case of violations of the order for conducting the election campaign by by an operator holding a license with regional of local coverage, the candidates concerned may file claims with the regional election commission. The claims shall be considered provided they have been submitted within 24 hours of the respective broadcast.

(3) (New, SG No. 80/2001) In case the claim is filed before a commission not having competence, it shall immediately forward the claim to the relevant commission, notifying the individual, submitting the claim.

(4) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) The election commissions under para. 1 and 2 shall rule on the claim within 24 hours of receiving it, and their rulings shall final and binding for the respective operator.

Article 12

(1) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) The total amount used to finance the election campaign of each list of candidates may not exceed 2,000,000 levs.

(2) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) Candidates for President and Vice President shall be free to receive campaign contributions. The amount of a single contribution shall not exceed 10 000 levs for a natural person and 30 000 levs for a legal entity.. No foreign State, nor any foreign natural or legal person, nor any joint venture with more than 25% foreign interest, nor any legal entities with more than 50% state or municipal participation shall finance an election campaign.

(3) (Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 13
(Amended, SG No. 80/2001)

Should a registered candidate be incapacitated by death or grave illness, he may be replaced by another candidate not later than 7 days before election day. Articles 3 to 6 shall apply accordingly.

Article 14
(Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 15

(1) The results of the first round of balloting shall be announced by the Central Elections Commission immediately after their determination and no later than forty-eight hours after the election day has been declared closed.

(2) If none of the candidates succeed in gaining a victory, the Central Elections Commission shall announce the two leading candidates from the lists which have won the highest number of votes and shall hold a second round of the elections within the time provided by Article 93, Paragraph (4) of the Constitution.

(3) The election campaign pursuant to the foregoing Paragraph (2) shall open upon the announcement of the candidates and shall close twenty-four hours before the day of the second round.

Article 16

(1) Should any of the leading candidates decline to enter the second round, the latter shall be contested by the candidates from the runner-up list established by the Central Elections Commission.

(2) Should any of the leading candidates be incapacitated by death or grave illness, the Central Elections Commission shall postpone the election and shall set a new date 14 days after the original date set for the second round. The national leadership of the respective party or coalition shall be free to register a new candidate pursuant to the procedure under Article 3 hereof within three days from the ruling of the Central Elections Commission.

Article 17

(1) The final results of the election for President and Vice President shall be announced by the Central Elections Commission within three days as of the date of the second round and shall be proclaimed in State Gazette within seven days as of the same.

(2) The results shall be announced by lists for all of the candidates. In the case of a second round election, the results of the first round of balloting shall be announced as well.

Article 18

The President and the Vice President elect shall be sworn in pursuant to Article 76, Paragraph (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria three days prior to the expiry of the mandate of the acting President and Vice President. They shall take office on the day of expiry of the mandate of the acting President and Vice President.

Article 18a

(1) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) Persons who violate the provisions of this Act shall be penalized by fine of 500 to 30,000 Leva.

(2) (Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

Article 18b
(Amended, SG No. 80/2001)

The acts for ascertainment of administrative violations shall be prepared by the chairmen of the Central Elections Commission and of the regional elections commissions on the basis of the rulings of the respective commission within 3 days of receipt of the signals or the claims of the violations.

Article 18c

(1) (Amended, SG No. 80/2001) The penal ordinances are issued by the regional governors based on the location of commitment of the violation within 3 days of receiving the file. In cases the act is issued against a regional governor, the penal ordinance is issued by the Minister of state administration.

(2) (Repealed, SG No. 80/2001)

(3) The ascertainment of violations, the elaboration of acts, the issuing and appealing of penal rulings shall be pursuant to the terms and procedure of the Administrative Violations and Penalties Act.

Article 19
(Amended, SG No. 80/2001)

Within a month as of the date of the election, all the candidates for President and Vice President shall make a statement before the National Accounting Office of the sources of finance and the expenses for their election campaign.

ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

§ 1.

The samples of documents and ballot papers required for the holding of elections under this Act shall be approved by the Central Elections Commission on proposal by of the Council of Ministers, and shall be promulgated in the State Gazette.

§ 1a.
(New, SG No. 80/2001)

Within the meaning of this Act "observers" are:

1. representatives of ofreign parliaments, of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, of ofreign parties and movements, as well as persons, nominated by parties and coalitions, participating in the elections, as well as such invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
2. authorised representativesof Bulgarian non-profit legal entities.

CONCLUDING PROVISIONS

§ 1b.
(New, SG No. 80/2001)

In the process of awarding public procurement contracts in connection with the conduct of the elections, Art. 18 of the Public Procurement Act, as well as the deadlines, envisaged therein and in its implementing ordinances in connection with awarding public procurement contracts, shall not apply.

§ 2.
(Amended, SG No. 80/2001)

The relevant provisions of the Election of Members of National Assembly Act shall apply to any matter not settled by this Act.

§ 3.

This Act is hereby referred for enforcement to the Council of Ministers and to the Central Elections Commission for the Presidential Elections.


This Act was submitted to a vote and duly adopted by the Grand National Assembly on September 17, 1991, and the State Seal was affixed hereto.


Acting Chairman of the Grand National Assembly: Ivan Gloushkov

 
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