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Photo: Dariknews.bg

The new stronghold of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS – the party largely representing the Turkish minority in Bulgaria – editor’s note) is neither in the Deliorman nor in the Rhodopes Mountains (Bulgarian regions with high concentration of Muslim population – editor’s note), but it is located in the heart of Europe – in “fraternal Poland.” There, in the virtually unknown town of Leknica, the Movement for “Even More Rights and Freedoms” achieved a unique score in the series called “The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices.” (Voice and vote is the same word in Bulgarian – editor’s note)

The story is as follows – in April 2014, 202 Bulgarian citizens, most of whom, judging by their names, are of Turkish minority, jointly submitted applications to the country’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) to cast a ballot outside Bulgaria. Copies of the applications (in Bulgarian) can be seen here: http://www.mfa.bg/…/Spisuci_glasuvane/Poland_Lenknica.pdf

They stated their desire to vote in the virtually unknown Polish town Leknica. A little later, in observing the law, CEC fulfilled their requests, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened a polling section, as is also required by law. Here is CEC’s decision on opening the polling section, with 202 applications submitted: http://www.cik.bg/registered

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In order to fully observe the rules, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry sent a representative to the Polish town – Daniel Banov Danov.

According to the website of the Ministry, he is Minister Plenipotentiary, Head of the Consulate Office at the Embassy in Warsaw – http://www.mfa.bg/embassies/poland/bg/1614/index.html.

Here is CEC’s decision on selecting members of the Electoral Commission for this polling section (CEC No. 127) http://www.cik.bg/reshenie/?no=337&date=10.05.2014

So far everything appears normal. The shock came after Election Day.

The appointed Electoral Commission for the polling section in Leknica issued a protocol that is filled with typos; it is apparently written by two people (which could be established by the different handwritings); one of whom definitely has a problem with the spelling of numbers in Bulgarian. A copy of the scanned protocol can be found here: http://results.cik.bg/ep2014/protokoli/32/1900127.html

The voting results are shocking – from a total of 231 ballots, cast in Leknica, 100% votes went to DPS, without a single error, without any votes for another party, without a preference for a particular candidate, without even a single invalid ballot. There were no observers and no advocates of any other parties. Such a sensation has never happened before, even in polling stations in Turkey.

So far, this could be labeled outrageous, unique, amazing, but not unlawful.

I, however, believe that the institutions failed do their job in overseeing Election Day there. I think that there was never a vote, and these people have only completed the protocol, even with typos, and left safely. They left in a hurry as they had other, more important work. And precisely this rushing spoiled the good deal since they breached the law – be it because they rushed or because of carelessness or just because this is how they usually proceed.

It turns out that the deputy chairman if the Electoral Commission of polling section number 127 in Leknica, Sasho Alexiev Hadziev, was also an observer from the quota of the Foundation “European Alternatives for Development.” The CEC decision, where he is listed under number 40, can be found here: http://www.cik.bg/reshenie/?no=402&date=17.05.2014

And this is the decision of CEC, where Sasho Alexiev Hadziev is listed as deputy chairman of the polling section in Leknica: http://www.cik.bg/reshenie/?no=337&date=10.05.2014

The fine detail here is that observers are not allowed to be members of local electoral commissions. And that is already a formal and serious breach of the Election Code.

In a word – I wish to hear the opinion of the state institutions on this case – WHO is going to guarantee that there was even a polling section in this Polish town?

They could have taken at least one selfie as proof. No, nothing like that; this simply was a “private polling section” with predictable results. I am waiting for evidence that elections were really held in this section. But it is unlikely that I will ever get proof of something that never took place.

So, I insist that CEC annuls the elections in polling section 127 in Leknica.

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