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A composition of the Administrative Court – Sofia-city, ordered that the ballot bags from all over 1,500 sections with machine voting in Sofia be opened in order to extract the final paper reports from the machines with the aggregated data. The court ordered at this stage that no manual counting of the ballots be done until the result of the examination appointed today is out. If violations are found, then a manual count by experts will be carried out.
The ruling of the court is based on the appeal of Vanya Grigorova, who came second in the runoff, against the decision of the Metropolitan Electoral Commission, which announced Vasil Terziev as mayor of Sofia. Grigorova and her team are contesting the results of the elections due to numerous violations that led to the replacement of voters’ votes. According to Grigorova’s complaint, there are violations in a large part of the protocols, as about 400 documents were compiled for cases where there was a problem with the machine voting.
Vanya Grigorova wants Terziev not to step in as mayor until the court pronounces
Only the notes from the machines with the final vote will be taken out of the bags from the sectional election commissions where voting was done by machine, and if there are discrepancies, a recount will be made only in some sections. For the specific violations pointed out by Grigorova’s team, including redoing protocols after they had already been uploaded, the court decided that a complex technical and economic expertise should be carried out.
It must be prepared by two experts – a computer specialist and an economist, and by December 1, when the next hearing in the case is scheduled, it must answer the question of whether there are discrepancies and how many and what are the corrections in the protocols and memory of the machines. In addition, it will be checked whether the amendments were made with the signatures of committee members.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) will also have to provide the methodological guidelines for holding the elections.
The Municipal Election Commission (MEC) explained that the protocols from the machines have no weight and value as evidence, since the receipts from the machines in the ballot boxes are counted at the end after the vote.
After the meeting, the OIC explained that only final reports from the machines will be taken out of the bags and will be provided to the court. In parallel, the CEC will have to submit copies of minutes to all sectional election commissions. Only after this analysis will it be judged whether there will be a new census in some sections where discrepancies are found.
“The court created conditions for the voters to be convinced that their choice, the way they wanted to make it, will be accounted for. Now we will see if Vasil Terziev is damaged or not and if I am damaged or not,” commented Vanya Grigorova leaving the courtroom.
The court allowed Terziev to step in as mayor of Sofia while a case against his election is pending
When asked who she would support for the chairmanship of the Metropolitan Municipal Council, she emphasized that she would not vote for Boris Bonev, nor for any other representative of “We continue the change – Democratic Bulgaria” (“Save Sofia”).
“They did everything possible to close the conversation and push manipulations against me. There was no clash of ideas. I will vote for the chairman of the SOS, for whom I decided,” added Grigorova.
On November 10, the court ruled on her request to suspend Terziev’s appointment as mayor until the trial is over, with magistrates rejecting her request.