site.btaUPDATED Another Protest in Front of Parliament against Return of Paper Ballots
People gathered in front of the National Assembly's building here on Thursday evening to protest the Election Code amendments, adopted by Parliament earlier in the day, which return paper ballots in elections.
Protesters blocked traffic in front of Parliament's building. They were chanting "Mafia out!" and said they are against the paper ballots, because this would contribute to vote-buying and thousands of invalid ballots.
"These people, who are currently standing outside in the rain and the cold, have a huge contribution, because they're showing the people inside [Parliament] that they can't hastily push things through," Continue the Change co-leader Kiril Petkov said. "Our role at this time is to turn on the spotlights and shed light on what at each item in the Election Code means and what's truly behind it," he said. According to Petkov, it is crucial to make the voting machines code completely transparent, so that anyone can access it and debunk the claims that the machines are not fair.
According to Bozhidar Bozhanov of Democratic Bulgaria, attempts have been made in recent weeks to manipulate the public into believing that there are codes and machinations. "We stand up for machine voting, which guarantees fair elections. The fair elections, in turn, guarantee the freedom of democracy," he said.
Earlier on Thursday, MPs adopted the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee's proposal to allow voters the option of voting with a paper or machine ballot.
While in Parliament, Democratic Bulgaria and Continue the Change urged people to come out and protest against the Election Code amendments later that day.
This is the third such protest against the return of paper ballots. People gathered to protest on November 18 and November 29.