Bulgarian Electoral System

Elections at the national level

Republic of Bulgaria is a parliamentary representative democracy, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government. The Head of State is the President, who is elected for a five-year term through universal suffrage. For a President to be elected a 50% plus one absolute majority is needed. If this is not achieved in the first round, then the two candidates with the highest vote percentages compete in a second round.

Bulgaria has a unicameral legislature, the National Assembly, which consists of 240 seats directly elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term of office. Members of Parliament are elected under proportional representation, using the Hare-Niemeyer method of the largest remainder. Each one of Bulgaria’s twenty-eight administrative regions is an electoral constituency, except for the city of Plovdiv, which is divided into two constituencies, and the capital city of Sofia, which is split into three constituencies, for a total of thirty-one constituencies. National Assembly seats are allocated among the constituencies in proportion to their population and each constituency has between 4 and 16 representatives.

Political parties and coalitions of parties present closed lists of candidates. Parties may only run in one single coalition in all constituencies. In addition, initiative committees may nominate independent candidates. Electors cast a ballot for a single list or an independent candidate. In order to participate in the distribution of National Assembly seats, a party or coalition must obtain at least four percent of the nationwide vote.

Elections for the European Parliament

No of MEP’s: 17.

Proportional system through preferential voting for national lists of political parties, of coalitions of political parties and of independent candidates. There is only one constituency, the entire territory of the country, and MEPs are elected when they reach the national quota, i.e. the total number of valid votes divided by the total number of MEPs from Bulgaria.



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