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2-6 Human Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government




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This article is from the Bulgaria FAQ, by Dragomir R. Radev radev@tune.cs.columbia.edu with numerous contributions by others.

2-6 Human Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government

Citizens have the right to change their government and head of state
through the election of the President and of the members of the National
Assembly, although the constitutional prohibition of parties formed on
ethnic, racial, or religious lines has the effect of circumscribing
access to the political process (see Section 2.b.). Suffrage is
universal at the age of 18. The most recent parliamentary elections
took place in December 1994. President Zhelev was elected in 1992 in
the first direct presidential elections.

Local elections were held in the fall. With the exception of the
mayoral election in Kurdjali, all major political parties accepted the
results and agreed that the elections were conducted in a free and
orderly manner. In the ethnically mixed city of Kurdjali, in a
politically charged atmosphere, the Socialist Party challenged in court
the narrow runoff victory of the MRF candidate, questioning the
registration of several hundred voters. After lengthy delays the court
took up the case, but it has not yet ruled, and the elected mayor has
not been allowed to take office.

There are no restrictions in law on the participation of women in
government. A number of women hold elective and appointive office at
high levels, including a cabinet-level post and several key positions in
the Parliament. However, women hold only about 14 percent of the seats
in the current Parliament.

 

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