Debate on the OSCE report in the National Assembly
Debate on the OSCE report in the National Assembly

Representatives of ISI took part in the initiative of the Parliamentary Group of “Coalition for Bulgaria” today in the National Assembly on the occasion of the debate and the decision on the OSCE report. The debate was opened after a parliamentary question of left MPs to Minister Nikolai Mladenov regarding the measures which the government will undertake to address OSCE criticism and recommendations after observing the presidential and local elections in 2001.

A special press-conference was organized after the debate with the participation of Institute for Public Environment, the  Civil Initiative for Free and Democratic Elections and the sociologist Zhivko Georgiev.

“A big part of our conclusions were confirmed also by the OSCE observers (in the course of six months ISI carried out a monitoring of the election process). It is very important to organize activities in several directions, among which transparency in the work of the Central Electoral Commission – the public activity of CEC is the sole guarantee that the actions of the main political players will be according to some standards. The media environment where the main pretenders are formed should be monitored. It is a fact that the election campaigns were carried out in the conditions of unprecedented domination of the leading political forces. It is also very important to increase the capacity of the election administration,” said Stefan Georgiev, head of the ISI Research Centre. “Even today it became clear that the main instrument that can lead to a better legislation is publicity. The governing party tries to hide behind a pseudo-decision which it managed to vote due to the mechanical voting of the majority.”

The Parliament decided that in three month term the Legal Commission (headed by the Deputy Chair of GERB Parliamentary Group and main author of the election Code Iskra Fidosova) should prepare proposals for addressing the recommendations of the OSCE report. No where in this decision, however, is mentioned that there will be legislative changes.

GERB did not agree with the demand of the opposition to create a special commission to elaborate proposals for amending the Election Code as well the media commission to address particularly the recommendations related to the lack of media independence during the campaign. The proposal for adopting new rules for campaign financing was also rejected.

At the same time the majority (mainly with votes “abstention”) rejected the demand of the Blue Coalition to mention explicitly in the decision that the commission working on the OSCE recommendations will come up with proposals for amending the legislation in accordance with these recommendations until 31 July 2012.