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  July 29, 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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Bulgaria’s Top Court Scraps Half of Questions in Referendum Proposed by Slavi's Show
Friday, 29th July 2016

Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court on Thursday declared as unconstitutional three of the six questions in a referendum proposed by popular TV show host Slavi Trifonov, to be held alongsisde the presidential elections in the autumn.

The proposal had been backed by 572,650 valid signatures, above the threshold of 400,000 required to hold a  referendum initiated by citizens.   

In May, President Rosen Plevneliev referred to the top court three of the questions.  They are related to a proposed introduction of remote electronic voting, a cut in the number of MPs in half to 120, and election of regional police chiefs in a popular majority vote.

The other three questions featured in the referendum proposal are related to the introduction of compulsory voting, the introduction of majority electoral system and cutting the state subsidy paid to political parties and coalitions to BGN 1 for each valid vote won by them in elections.  These questions will be included in the referendum ballot paper.

The holding of the referendum proposed by Slavi Trifonov and the team of his show was approved by Parliament in May.

On Thursday, the Constututional Court ruled that only a Grand National Assembly can decide to change the number of members of Parliament and thus change the form of government.

The court has also ruled that a referendum on the introduction of remote and electronic voting was held in Bulgaria last year and this question cannot be put to the vote in a new referendum earlier than two years after the previous one.

Support among voters for the introduction of electronic voting exceeded 50% last year but the turnout at the referendum was lower that the turnout at the last parliamentary elections held in 2014, which automatically invalidated the outcome of that referendum.

The Constitutional Court also ruled that the proposed election of senior police officers by popular vote will require an election campaign which will open the way for interference of interested political formations and economic groups into the process.

 

 



Bulgaria Tentatively Approves Anti-Terrorism Bill
Friday, 29th July 2016

Bulgaria's Parliament on Thursday tentatively approved a controversial anti-terrorism bill which allows the government to restrict civil rights in case of emergency.

Under the proposed bill, security and law-enforcement officers will be authorized to access private properties and use citizens' cars if necessary during an anti-terrorism operation.

The officers will be able to restrict the movement of people, suspend access to Internet or seize documents of people suspected of preparing a terrorist act.

The authorities will have the right to keep personal communication data they have gathered during investigation for up to 36 months, compared with the current from six months.

While the government says that the new law is needed in view of increased threat of terror attacks in Europe, human rights activists claim that the restrictions will curb basic human rights like the freedom of expression.

The draft gives the armed forces the right to inspect personal belongings,make searches, and use force against citizens as stipulated in the Interior Ministry Act.

The new legislation needs to be approved on second reading to become law.

 



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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.