For a full working day, the deputies adopted only the title of the Electoral Code in the second reading. The debates lasted more than 4 hours, and the meeting ended with tension in the plenary hall, as it had begun. “We continue the change” tried to thwart the vote on the name of the law at the end, as at the beginning of the plenary day.
Yesterday’s coalition partners Kornelia Ninova and Kiril Petkov exchanged sharp remarks, and the DPS and BSP produced written data on various discrepancies between the final number of votes recorded in the CEC protocol and reported by the machine vote. Mustafa Karadai presented the first written evidence from the stand.
He gave only two of the examples that the party has. With 229 control receipts from a section in Tryavna and the same number of signatures in the voter list, the confirmed votes from the machine voting are 227. In this case, the damaged party was GERB, said the leader of the DPS. In another section, with 349 control receipts and 349 signatures, the confirmed votes were 350, with one more in favor of “Continuing the change”.
“The question is, given the facts and the doubt, there is no way to have confidence in the final result. Our task is to find that formula so that there is confidence in the final result and that all Bulgarian citizens can vote,” said Karadai.
After him, the social leader Kornelia Ninova showed data from protocols in several different cities of the country. In one section, the machine vote counted 166 votes, and according to the protocol, 168 were recorded. In Gabrovo, the machine took out 227 votes, and the protocol showed 229. In Blagoevgrad, the result of the machine showed 264, and according to the protocol, 261 were recorded. Ninova concluded, that it is a matter of a difference of several votes.
“But what are 12,000 sections of five votes doing? 60,000. And what is this? Almost a parliamentary group?” exclaimed the socialist leader. not those who deliver flashcards,” she concluded. “Where did the social and anti-corruption image disappear and suddenly flashcards became the raison d’être of the state?” she asked.
Ninova also announced a conversation between her, former Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and Minister of e-Government Bozhidar Bojanov, held in the Council of Ministers, when she shared her doubts about the machines and demanded the return of the paper ballot.
Kiril Petkov agreed with the words “OK, we will introduce the paper ballot, but let’s do it for the over 60s, to collect your electorate,” Ninova quoted him from the rostrum. “I explained to them in pure Bulgarian that this is unconstitutional, we have no right to divide people by age, gender and race. And we refused. That’s it, that was the conversation,” she declared. Bojanov, on the other hand, admitted “yes”, in response to her question whether there was a theoretical possibility to manipulate the machines.
“I got the impression that in advance some ministers from PP and DB knew about machinations. Now I can explain to myself why the votes were received, and why there is this hysteria in the hall from PP and DB, and why there are these protests”, he reacted Mustafa Karadai. And he announced which parties were harmed and boosted by the differences between the votes in the minutes and the machine vote that he had previously cited. “In one of the protocols, the bonus is for PP, and in the other protocol, GERB is damaged,” said the DPS leader.
“We continue the change” responded to the social leader’s attack with a reminder that there are people in her group who are against the return of the ballot, and the hall started chanting “Bozhankov”. The MP from the left does not hide that he is against the return of the paper ballot, after which the leadership of the BSP removed him from the legal committee.
Kiril Petkov confirmed the conversation with Ninova months ago. “When we had this conversation, there were your MPs who said that this is a prerequisite for corruption,” he said of the ballot. “We knew that this proposal of yours could not pass because of people of conscience in your group. You had a chance to make the BSP a modern left party,” replied Kiril Petkov. And he returned the attack with an attack.
“But if we quote each other who said what, you know very well who said – I will vote with GERB, with DPS, and with the devil, if that will bring me 15 more MPs,” he said, referring to Ninova.
She didn’t keep silent. “Politics is not done except with procedures and lies. No one has heard the words in this hall, ‘I will vote with the devil to have 15 more deputies’. You have looked around in the BSP. For six years, someone has been trying to tell me take control of the PG and the party, don’t do it either, you amateurs are in that direction,” addressed PP Kornelia Ninova.
Asen Vassilev replicated the social leader. “We are not interested in the BSP group at all”. He told Ninova that while there is freedom of opinion in the PP, in the BSP, “every time someone expresses a different opinion, you take his head.”
“It started to be fun”, stated Karadayi and disclosed other data about a manipulated vote, this time in favor of DB, which Bozhankov called a “suggestion”. He also commented on Ninova’s words, but further developed his thesis that, theoretically, there can be manipulations, both with the machine and with the paper vote. When asked by the social leader why the machine said “the diary is tampered with” on the election day, the former Minister of Internal Affairs replied: “It means that the flash drive was defective and the machine detected this, there is nothing wrong”.
The leader of the PG of GERB, Desislava Atanasova, objected to the language of PP and DB regarding the paper ballots. “You allowed in two of the speeches of Atanas Atanasov and Kiril Petkov to talk about ‘organized crime votes with ballots’ and ‘voting with ballots is a clear theft of votes,'” she turned to Rosen Zhelyazkov, as the moderator of the meeting. “Remind them , that according to the current code, all sections under 300 voters vote without a machine. And they announced that these Bulgarian citizens are vote thieves. This is an inadmissible outrage towards the citizens,” Atanasova was indignant.
At the end of the meeting, MPs from the PP objected to the vote on the title of the bill and jumped up from their seats again. Their argument was that there were many recorded speeches. Rosen Zhelyazkov objects that there was only one statement from the PP and over 50 procedures. The vote was held, the title was accepted, and Nikola Minchev declared that citizens will be denied voting not by paper or machine, but by the parties’ inability to motivate them.