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Lawmakers decide election campaigns to be held in Bulgarian language

The lawmakers have adopted a provision in the new election code bill which foresees that election campaigns of candidates must be carried out in Bulgarian language.

The proposal made by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) parliamentary group was to adopt a text envisaging that if the campaign is held in a language other than Bulgarian a translation should be provided.

The chair of the PG of MRF, Lutvi Mestan, declared the text adopted in the new code was discriminatory and was not defending Bulgarian language but was against it, giving grounds for discrimination of election campaigns held in Bulgarian language in other countries where Bulgarian minorities are living. 

For the first time the state budget will provide BGN 40 000 to pay for media campaigning of initiative committees of presidential and vice-presidential candidates and BGN 5000 to initiative committees of candidates in European and Bulgarian parliamentary elections. The money will be paid by the Central Electoral Commission (CEC). The media used in the campaign should publish on their websites information about the contracts they have signed with the political parties, the coalitions and the initiative committees of the candidates, or with other contractors or intermediaries in the election campaigns.

The ceiling of funds that could be spent by the parties and the coalitions in the pre-election campaigns was set to BGN 3 million and to BGN 200 000 for the initiative committees. The ceiling of the donations remains the same. A natural person could donate no more than BGN 10 000 to a political party, coalition or initiative committee in one year. Anonymous donations are not allowed.

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