“Participation, Not Predestination!” National Initiative

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A national citizens’ initiative “Participation, Not Predestination!” was constituted by participants in the “Making Direct Democracy Work in Bulgaria“ International Conference, held on 25th and 26th February in Sofia.

The initiative aims to propose amendments of the Law on Direct Participation of the Citizens in National and Local Governance in order to remove the greatest legal obstacles to the expression of people’s will, namely:

  • Repealing the “turnout quorum” for a referendum to be binding, as is the case with political elections, where there is no such requirement;
  • Repealing the requirement to transfer the data of those who have signed a referendum petition to an electronic database, which is a great administrative burden for initiative committees and practically a restriction of the right to referendum, the right to petition and the freedom of expression;
  • Reducing the signature threshold needed to initiate national referendums four times and the signature threshold needed to initiate local referendums twice for the above reasons;
  • Introduction of National Electronic Citizens’ Initiative following the model of the European Citizens’ Initiative, which will enable Bulgarian citizens to make proposals to the national institutions irrespective of their current country of residence;
  • Reducing the amount of personal data required to sign a petition and establishing precise and uniform criteria for checking the validity of personal data.

The suggested changes are in the form of a bill called The Act of Amendment of the Law on Direct Participation of the Citizens in National and Local Governance, which will be submitted to the Council of Ministers by the National Citizens’ Initiative “Participation, Not Predestination!”, proposing the Council to enter the bill in the National Assembly.

The Initiative Committee will collect signatures in support of the legislative changes from people with voting rights for three months after its constitution.

Daniela Bozhinova from the Bulgarian Association for the Promotion of Citizens Initiative was elected Chairperson and Alexander Assenov, Aglika Krushovenska, Emil Krumov, Iva Taralezhkova, Nikolay Bliznakov and Yulian Cholakov were elected members of the Initiative Committee of the National Citizens’ Initiative “Participation, Not Predestination!

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