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  May 6, 2016 

Rodina Sydney - the Bulgarian Community and Culture Association

 

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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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Bulgarian News

Bulgarians Abroad Right to Protest over Election Rules - Ombudsman
Thursday, 5th May 2016

National Ombudsman Maya Manolova has said she sides with Bulgarian citizens abroad disgruntled with Electoral Code amendments preventing them from exercising their right to vote.

Manolova has commented after brokering a meeting of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov with representatives of Bulgarian expats, who have been protesting against changes restricting the number of polling stations and setting additional requirements of the opening of stations outside diplomatic missions and big cities.

Borisov "fully" understood that their demands are fair, Focus News Agency quotes her as saying, adding that while she is only supposed to mediate in principle, she cannot be impartial when it comes to basic constitutional rights.

Stefan Manov, a member of the civic council with Bulgaria's Central Electoral Commission, later said Borisov had accepted the demands of citizens and would insist that the old rules should be returned, taking the "commitment" to do so.

She added there were two options, either the President would veto the texts "restricting the rights of Bulgarians abroad" or parties from the coalition government would suggest they should be edited in Parliament.

While Bulgarian MPs passed in April changes to election laws making it compulsory to cast a ballot, voting is interpreted as a "right" according to the Constitution.

A separate meeting is due with Valeri Simeonov, the co-leader of nationalist Patriotic Front coalition which put forward the changes, arguing they would curb organized vote from Turkey.

Tensions grew between Simeonov and some Bulgarians living abroad after he wrote an email to one of them demanding they stop interfering while lawmakers were working on "serious" issues. 

His move drew fire from civic activists, with a group called the Protest Network (that was formed around the 2013 mass demonstrations) even calling for his resignation as MP after he was heard saying, "Enough with this democracy, enough with these Bulgarians abroad" on air on SKAT TV (a cable network formally owned by him).



Bulgaria's PM Meeting Expats over Electoral Code Row
Thursday, 5th May 2016

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is meeting representatives of Bulgarian nationals living out of the country to dicsuss changes to election laws.

The talks are a response to the public outcry among Bulgarians abroad over amendments to the Electoral Code that severely restrict the number of polling stations outside Bulgaria.

Under the initial proposal, voting abroad could only take place in diplomatic missions, but the ruling axis backtracked.

Thursday's meeting has been proposed by National Ombudsman Maya Manolova, Focus News Agency reports. 

Manolova on Wednesday was handed a petition with 6000 signatures calling for the restrictions to be revoked.

But Valeri Simeonov, the co-head of a nationalist coalition which backs the government and which had tabled the amendments, dismissed their actions, saying it was easy to collect that number of signatures.

Earlier this week he was involved in a row with a Bulgarian abroad campaigning against the amendments to whom he had sent a letter suggesting she should stop pestering MPs as they were trying to work on "serious" issues.



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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.