Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Democracy is coming...

Democracy is a strange thing, in deed. Svetla Dimitrova, head of the election authority ЦИКЕП (read TsIKEP), have written a letter to the Parliament, expressing her discontent with a statement from the parliament dating to the 13th of April.

The parliament was not pleased with
ЦИКЕП's proposal to raise the barrier for coalitions to 8 %, and as I understand this is what this is about.

The parliament which is increasingly defiant since the third government party, the conservatives, tend to go against their coalition partners in the parliament, and rather vote with the parties in the blue coalition.

With an 8% barrier, the blue coalition would risk ending up outside the parliament. According to the last polls* I've seen the blue coalition have around 6%. Most analyst's sees this proposal as a try from the government to unduly use their legislative power agianst the opposition.

decision was eventually faulted by the administrative court, which is the highest instance in this case.

One could quite easily see a pattern here: The government parties and certain authorities vs. the parliament, the local authorities in Sofia and the administrative court. the pattern i strinkingly similar to the situation in Republic of Moldova, but there the parliament is under control by the communist government.

For sure there are also business interests tied to the government, I would guess that there are interests tied to the opposition as well. The economedia group, which published the high class newspapers capital and Dnevnik, are very close to the blue alliance opposition.

Many bulgarians engaging in the politics expect some kind of silent revolution from the elections, by voting in new voices in the parliament. The defiant parliament is already now appearing as somehow less corrupted than the institutional establishment.

Now, the point of Svetla Dimitrova's letter is that ЦИКЕП is the responsible authority in this case, and that it is not the parlimentary majority's role to mix up in her work... this is a point that can be argued I think.

The Bulgarian constitution prescribes a very high degree of independence for different institutions, much higher than in Sweden for example. Much critique has ben aimed at the juridical system, but in fact the Bulgarian politicians have very small power to change anything, since they are banned form interfering with the courts.

In this case one democratic principle - the power comes from the elected parliament is ocunteracted by another principle, fundamental to liberal democracy - the independence of courts and other instutions. Democracy is a complex thing. In deed.

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