With a judicial act dated 16.11.2023, issued in case No. 658/2023, the Administrative Court – Ruse confirmed Decision No. 213-MI/30.10.2023 of the OIC – Ruse, which determined the results of the elections for Municipal Council – Ruse.
The complaint was filed by Zdravko Paskaliyev, in his capacity as a candidate for municipal councilor from the “Middle European Class” PP, and the Decision of the OIC – Ruse was challenged on the grounds that it was illegal, issued in violation of the Election Code.
The court considers that in order for the elections to be declared illegal, it is necessary to have found particularly serious violations of the electoral process, related to the fundamental democratic constitutional principles of the right to vote, as well as for the severity of these violations to be of such a nature that it is impossible to the actual will of the voters was established.
In the course of the proceedings, the protocols of the Sectional Election Commissions and of the OIC – Ruse from 30.10.2023 were presented and accepted as written evidence. The Court specifies that any untruthfulness of what is reflected in the official documents can be established during open proceedings, as provided for order, as according to Art. 154 of the Civil Code, the disputant must prove that the data presented in the protocol are not true, i.e. there is a discrepancy with the actual factual circumstances.
The authenticity of these documents can be disputed at the latest until the end of the first hearing in the case or until the end of the court hearing at which they were presented (Article 193 of the Civil Procedure Code).
In this case, the protocol of the OIC – Ruse dated 30.10.2023, as well as all the protocols of the SEC, presented in the case and accepted as written evidence, are not contested.
The arguments for incorrect counting of voters’ votes are also unproven.
According to the court, “the established undisputed data from the content of the minutes of the SEC lead to the conclusion that it is not necessary to carry out a recount of the reported actual, invalid votes and distributed preferences for the candidates. Re-counting by hand, due to expressed suspicion of committed violations or incorrect counting of ballots, is not admissible to be done by the court, which is not a participant in the electoral legal relationship. The purpose of the legislature in providing the opportunity to appeal the election results is not to carry out a re-election process.”
The court accepts that the determination of the elected candidates for municipal councilors, according to the received valid preferences and their arrangement in the party lists, was carried out in accordance with the rules.
Given the established facts, the court confirmed Decision No. 213-MI/30.10.2023 of the OIC – Ruse, which determined the results of the elections for the Municipal Council – Ruse.
The decision is subject to a cassation appeal before the Supreme Court within seven days of its notification to the parties.