Local Elections

On October 23, 2011, the Bulgarian citizens will have the right to vote for mayors and municipal councilors in 264 municipalities throughout the country.

Similar to the elections for President and Vice President, Transparency International – Bulgaria launched the first initiatives for civil monitoring of the transparency and integrity of the Bulgarian local elections in 2003 and 2007. The first two initiatives showed low publicity in the actions of the mayoral and municipal councilor candidates in terms of the financing and conducting of their election campaigns.

In 2011 the initiative of Transparency International – Bulgaria includes two main lines of public monitoring:

The first line relates to monitoring the financing of the candidates’ campaigns.  The monitoring covers both formal documents of the candidates and candidate lists, as well as media monitoring results for the last month before the elections. The information gathered will be used to provide a common index for transparency of the election campaigns. For more information, please consult the section “Integrity Pact”.

The second line focuses on polling stations monitoring on Election Day with the participation of trained observers with the aim to detect possible violations which will be registered in a collective database. The main emphasis is on vote buying and controlled vote prevention – phenomena for the shocking scope of which Transparency International – Bulgaria alerted the public in 2009 during the elections for European Parliament and 41st National Assembly.

Representatives of more than 20 NGOs throughout the country will take active participation in the initiative.