For Five Years Authorities Are Harassing a Frenchman Who Voted in Bulgaria Due to a Blunder of the Electoral Body


Paul Ch., a French citizen who is married to a Bulgarian woman and resides in the country permanently, regularly votes in local and European elections. In July 2009, he accompanied his wife to the polling station and asked if he was entitled to vote in parliamentary (general) elections as a foreigner who lives in Bulgaria permanently.

Members of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), N ° 23-46-17-003, in the 64th Elementary School held a meeting and unanimously amended the Constitution in deciding that the Frenchman had such right. They listed Paul Ch. in the voters’ list; he voted and left blissfully.

Two years later, Paul Ch. was charged under article 168, paragraph 1 of the Penal Code and was remanded to not change his place of residence. The hard times began with costs for lawyers and writing requests for assistance to the French Consulate.

However, the prosecution realized what idiocy they have created and a month later, on July 20, 2011, pre-trial proceedings N 3M 15027/10 in case N 61602/10 SRS were terminated by the Sofia District Prosecutor’s Office. The decision to terminate noted that the Frenchman had not voted “by breaking in” and conscientiously asked CEC whether he was entitled to vote.

“The lack of elements constituting offense, as established by the rules of the Special Part of the Penal Code, gives grounds to conclude that the same (offense) has not been committed in the legal world,” wrote prosecutor G. Lazarova-Dimitrova, who terminated the proceedings. It is not known whether the CEC members, who have granted him this right, were indicted.

Our police, however, live in another legal world and do not forget such misdemeanors. On May 8, 2014, the elderly man has been summoned to the 6th police precinct to sign a “warning statement” in which he declares that he will comply with Bulgarian laws; will no longer commit crimes on the territory of Bulgaria and will not sell or buy votes. Paul Ch. prudently brought with him and showed the prosecutor’s decision, which spared him, at least, the admonishing tone of the employees in the precinct.

The only explanation for this police harassment is that the Interior Ministry still considers Paul Ch. a person with criminal record despite the fact that he has committed no crime. Therefore, our European police summoned him and will continue to ask him to sign statements in the eve of all European, local, presidential, parliamentary elections and of all referendums, whether or not he is entitled to vote.

Welcome Mr. Ch. to our Eurasian territory which ended in the European Union by some accident. Please accept the apologies of Bivol’s editorial staff and of the people who have signed under this short news story for the unique police pigsty that we have established here.


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