National Assembly Debates on First Reading Bill on Citizens’ Direct Participation in Government and Four Drafts to Amend the Referendums' Act
2 July 2008
The Citizens’ Direct Participation in Government bill submitted by Yanaki Stoilov (Coalition for Bulgaria) and a group of MPs provides the right for citizens, entitled to vote, to initiate a National referendum when their number is not less than 150 000. When the number of the collected signatures reaches 350 000 the holding of the referendum to become mandatory. It also gives the initiative to conduct a referendum to one tenth of the members of parliament, the president of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Council of Ministers and to not less than one tenth of the municipalities in the country.
The right of a certain number (one tenth) of municipalities to make a proposal to the National Assembly for a national referendum is introduced for the first time.
According to this draft the decision taken by a referendum won’t need to be passed by Parliament. The authors of the bill also suggest abolishing the requirement for a minimum number of participating voters in order for the local and national referendums to be considered valid.
The National Assembly discussed four more bills concerning amendments to the Referendums’ Act. They contain different suggestions regarding the number of citizens who can initiate a referendum, the need for subsequent approval or confirmation by parliament and the required number of voters in order for a referendum to be valid.
National Assembly discussed on first reading two bills regarding changes to the Excise Duties and Tax Warehouses Act. The drafts were submitted by the parliamentary groups of Bulgarian New Democracy and National Movement Simeon the Second.
MPs paid a minute of silence in respect to the sudden death of Yovko Yovkov, member of the parliamentary group Coalition for Bulgaria.