site.btaInterior Minister: Vote-Buying Hotspots Identified
The vote-buying hotspots in Bulgaria and many of the people involved in these practices locally have been identified ahead of the April 2 parliamentary elections, Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev said Tuesday as he arrived for the annual report of the Pleven Regional Directorate of the Interior. He added that the authorities will work hard to fight vote buying.
He stressed that there is no narrow specialization among criminals and that strong operative work also helps combat vote buying. The Interior Ministry does not aim to isolate a particular criminal contingent that does just that. "We have found that the same people are also involved in drug trafficking and migrant trafficking, and now they will get involved in vote-buying," Demerdzhiev said.
He commented that the use of the paper ballot on a par with machine voting in the April 2 elections will increase interest in vote-buying.
Asked if a pay rise for police officers is being discussed, Demerdzhiev said many reserves were being used. "We have revised much of the secondary legislation to maximize their salaries. At the end of 2022, I gave out cash prizes to every single police officer to the maximum permissible amount, which will be the Ministry's policy as long as my team runs it. We are looking at all avenues to provide higher pay to the police officers," Demerdzhiev said.