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Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the process for lodging and processing applications for voting abroad at diplomatic missions

16 April 2013 News

In regard to the statement by Mr Lyutvi Mestan, president of the Central Council of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, about incorrect information being provided about the number of applications for voting outside the country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs makes the following clarifications:

- The number of applications received at diplomatic and consular offices in countries and localities is posted on the website of the Foreign Ministry. At the end of each working day or by noon on the following working day, the Foreign Ministry updates the number of applications received after processing by the diplomatic and consular missions. At the start of the day on April 15 2013, an update was posted as at April 14 2013, on the basis of the applications received at the weekend.

- The difference between the data posted by the Foreign Ministry and those of Mr Mestan are because the latter include the number of applications sent by post, while the Foreign Ministry is able to summarise only those applications that are received and processed by the representations, but not those that have not yet arrived by post. For this reason, we do not consider allegations of incorrect numbers as legitimate.

- We remind that the legislature has provided a technical time for reporting and summarizing the applications received after the deadline for submissions (April 11 2013) when posted within this timeframe. According to the Electoral Code, the deadline for heads of diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Bulgaria to provide to the Central Election Commission information about applications to vote abroad received is April 18 2013 (23 days before Election Day). The Foreign Ministry has made the appropriate arrangements for timely processing of applications received by post. Failure to meet this deadline could be solely because of the arrival of a large number of applications on April 18 2013 or after that date, which would be because of postal services in the relevant country and outside the good will of the ministry and its missions abroad.

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