President: Radical Change in Political Model Is Required to Prevent Vote-buying

President: Radical Change in Political Model Is Required to Prevent Vote-buying

"A radical change in the political model is required to eliminate any material incentive for voting," President Georgi Purvanov said commenting on the by-election in Sandanski on Saturday where five persons were arrested on charges of involvement in vote-buying, BTA reported.

The Future for Sandanski Municipality Coalition (Radical Democratic Party, Nikola Petkov National Agrarian Party) won the largest number of seats on the municipal council, 8; the remaining 21 seats were distributed among nine political organizations.

In Purvanov's words, the reform should begin with the way of party financing and the registration of parties, some of which are established for business purposes only, to end with the organization of election campaigns.

The electoral system should be changed to allow people cast their votes for real particular persons and not for abstract lists or, which is worst, for pecuniary considerations, Purvanov said.

One individual has already been indicted for organizing vote-buying at the Sandanski municipal by-election, said Elka Atanassova, Spokesperson for the Regional Prosecution Office in Blagoevgrad (which has jurisdiction over Sandanski as it is located in Blagoevgrad Region). He is Nikola Kroumov Malchev from Sandanski and owns hothouses in the village of Damyanitsa. Malchev was found to buy votes for the Future for Sandanski Municipality Coalition.

In a summary procedure, the Sandanski District Court sentenced Malchev to six months on probation and imposed a fine of 2,500 leva (1,259 euro) on him, the Regional Prosecution Office said from Blagoevgrad.

Malchev pleaded guilty and made a deal with the prosecution.

Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev, who visited General Toshevo, said that before the end of the summer session Parliament should start a public political discussion on the amendments that should be made to the Bulgarian electoral legislation and consider the proposals made when its autumn session is opened.

Besides in Sandanski, there were by-elections in another 16 population centers in Bulgaria.

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