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  December 10, 2016 

Rodina Sydney - the Bulgarian Community and Culture Association

The Bulgarian Community in Sydney

The Bulgarian Community and Culture Association "Rodina" is the focal point for Bulgarians and the Bulgarian culture in Sydney and New South Wales.  We organise regular BBQs, dances and social events as well as support the Bulgarian School in Sydney.  Our community includes people with Bulgarian heritage, partners of Bulgarians and people interested in the Bulgarian Culture.  As part of Multi-Cultural Australia we aim to contribute and enrich its diverse culture.  We also provide orientation and help for Bulgarians newly arrived in Sydney and New South Wales.

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Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor Insists Voting System Referendum 'Is Mandatory'
Saturday, 10th December 2016

Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov has spoken out against a move of the country's election authorities to declare "non-binding" a referendum on the election system of the country.

Turnout in the national poll, conducted in November, fell short of just over 12 000 votes that would have made its result obligatory.

Nearly 2.5 million people backed a switch from proportional representation voting to a "first-past-the-post systme in two rounds".  They also backed a move to make it mandatory to vote both in elections and referenda (elections are already compulsory under fresh legislation) and a drastic slash in the size of state subsidies allocated to political parties per vote cast in their favour.

Tsatsarov, in a letter shown on air by an evening TV program, has thus sided with the intitiator of the referendum, musician and TV host Slavi Trifonov who earlier lashed out against election authorities.

Even though the result is not binding, the high turnout means lawmakers have to debate and vote on the three issues posed in the referendum.

Tsatsarov says that in his "personal opinion" the vote is that the minor shortfall is not good enough an excuse not to declare the referendum legally binding.

The Chief Prosecutor, however, has asserted that the final say about whether the referendum is valid or not lies with the Supreme Administrative Court (VAS) of Bulgaria.

Earlier this week, he met with Trifonov to discuss the results of the referendum.

"If 2 509 864 eligible Bulgarians support a majority election of all lawmakers with an absolute majority in two rounds, it is time to change election rules.  If 2 516 791 citizens said "yes" to the idea that state susidies for political parties hoyld be defined by the rule "one vote - one lev [BGN], this subsidy cannot be BGN 11 per valid vote [its current value].  What is more, the question comes whether such a state subsidy for the parties is needed at all.  In this case, the number of voter (nearly 3.5 million) and the number of "yes" voters (nearly 2.5 million) makes the referendum results binding."



Bulgaria's Reformist Bloc May Refrain from Seeking New Govt
Friday, 9th December 2016

Right-wing Reformist Bloc coalition has said it will hand back the mandate to the Bulgarian President next week, without trying to form a new government.

Later staements from members of the bloc, however, have cast a shadow of doubt on whether this position will change.

If the decision is final, the RB has paved the way for an early election in Bulgaria, with two parties before it having refused to make an effort to form a new cabinet after Prime Minister Boyko Borisov resigned.

The RB will return the mandate upon receiving it on Monday, Focus News Agency quotes Nayden Zelenogorski, the co-leader of the bloc faction in Parliament as saying.

"Apparently there is no reformist majority in Parliament and we are going to elections," he has added.

On Thursday, the RB received assurances of support from the nationalist Patriotic Front (PF) coalition, but not from the biggest party in the legislature, Borisov's GERB.

Further, differences betwen the PF and the RB "could not be cleared," Zelenogorski has added.

The decision of the bloc, a loose coalition of right-wing and centrist parties, was "unanimous", he has argued.

However, Bozhidar Lukarski, who heads the Union for Democratic Forces (UDF, one of the bloc members), has donwplayed the claim of Zelenogorski that the RB made a final and official decision.

President Rosen Plevneliev earlier this week said he would hand over the government mandate to the RB on Monday.

In the event of the bloc returning it, the head of state will have to appoint an interim government.  His successor Rumen Radev, taking over on January 22, will have to call an early election.

"We are ready for elections and we are heading there," Zelenogorski has made it clear. 



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About Us

The Bulgarian Cultural and Social Association "Rodina" promotes Bulgarian culture, traditions and language among the Bulgarian community in NSW.  For over 30 years we have been fostering knowledge and understanding about the Bulgarian culture and history by organising social events, forums, exhibitions, performances and other public initiatives.  We seek to strengthen the social, economic, educational and cultural ties between Australia and Bulgaria.  Therefore, maintaining a close relationship with Australian organisations and institutions in Australia is of significant importance to us.  As part of Multi-Cultural Australia we aim to contribute and enrich its diverse culture.  Rodina collaborates and co-operates with other Bulgarian and cultural organisations in Australia.