February 11 (BTA) - The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP)
Monday renewed its calls for election of a new Central Election
Commission (CEC). The party position was reiterated by its press
office after a meeting with the Association of European
Journalists - Bulgaria.
The Socialists argue that even though two elections are coming
up this year, the law should be observed and a new CEC be
elected as the term of the present one expires.
BSP leader Kornelia Ninova said their view is shared by the
Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria but they later
denied that in a statement saying that the meeting focused on
controversial revisions to the Personal Data Protection and that
they have never taken and would never take a position on CEC as
it goes beyond their central interest: freedom of the press and
the media environment.
The Socialists' position, however, is shared by the
power-sharing United Patriots coalition of nationalist parties.
MP Iskren Vesselinov of the VMRO, one of the United Patriots
parties, said on Bulgarian National Radio over the weekend that
the law is there to be complied with and a procedure should
start for having a new CEC.
The ruling GERB party are adamant that it is not a good idea to
replace CEC before the European elections which will be held in
Bulgaria on May 26. They also argue that the present CEC members
have gained quite a lot of experience and can serve on until
after the elections.
As for the controversial revisions to the Personal Data
Protection Act, Kornelia Ninova reportedly told the Association
of European Journalists that they would support a presidential
veto on them and if it is overturned by the rest of the
legislature, they would take the matter to the Constitutional
The revisions were vetoed by President Rumen Radev with the
motives that they create excessive regulation on the use of
personal data, which affects the freedom of expression and right
to information. RY/LN/