According to a report of RTV,(Radio and Television Vojvodina), quoting the Central Electoral Committee, CEK, Bulgarians in Serbia will only be able to vote at the diplomatic mission in Belgrade because the Serbian government had not allowed the opening of voting polls in Bosilegrad and Dimitrovgrad even though a large number of people living in those communities have double citizenship – Bulgarian and Serbian.
During the previous three elections – two general ones and one for president, there were voting polls in the above said municipalities for Bulgarians wishing to cast a ballot.
In addition to the Embassy in Belgrade, Bulgaria has a Consular Office in Nis, but the CEK list of voting polls abroad does not have Nis as a voting location.
According to data of the Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Ministry, about 3 200 people in Serbia have Bulgarian citizenship.
Bulgarians abroad have the right to vote on October 23 to elect the country's new president.
There will be voting polls in 146 cities in a total of 48 countries. Their number had been determined after the 37 606 applications from Bulgarians abroad, wishing to take part in the vote, have been processed. The deadline to submit the applications was Tuesday, September 27.
According to the Election Code, 20 applications are needed in order to open a voting poll in a country where Bulgaria has a Consular Office or diplomatic representation, while where there is no such representation, the number of required applications is 100.
Turkey, traditionally, leads the list by number of voting polls – 46, followed by Spain – 23, the US – 14 and Moldova – 7.
The full list of voting polls abroad, in Bulgarian, can be found HERE.
Meanwhile, on September 27, the members of the initiative "We Want to Vote" sent a letter to Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and to over 100 Bulgarian Ambassadors to alert them about hurdles and refusals to open election polls abroad. According to the letter, there were a number of cases when diplomatic missions have refused the applications or have argued about their validity.
The site For Fair Elections also alarmed that they have received information that the Bulgarian Embassy in France has missed the deadline to request permission to hold elections in the city of Lyon – the deadline was August 13 – 70 days before the elections. According to a report of the Foreign Ministry, by August 13, the Embassy has requested to have election polls only in Paris, Strasbourg, Marseilles, Lille and Toulouse, omitting Lyon despite numerous reminders from the Bulgarian diaspora there.
During the general elections in July 2009, 135 500 Bulgarians living abroad went to the polls. From them nearly 94 000 cast their ballot for the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms.