Seminar: Mobilization of the institutions and the civic capital for fair electoral process
Last week, at a seminar in Plovdiv (9th and 10th of May, 2014) the Institute for Public Environment Development organized training and debate over the topic: “Mobilizing the institutions and the civic capital for fair and free electoral process”.
The seminar was held in cooperation with the Association of Prosecutors in Bulgaria, and was attended by 37 prosecutors who will be on duty during the Election Day (25th of May) and 15 police officers – representatives of several regional police departments in the country.
The main subject of the discussion was related to the opportunities and mechanisms for cooperation between the law enforcement authorities and the civil society in order to ensure a fair electoral process. The team of IPED presented studies about the risks for the electoral process on national and local level, as well as for the upcoming European elections.
This type of joint training is not conducted for the first time by our organization. The IPED and the APB have already established cooperation in the field of preventive measures against electoral violations. In 2011 a similar seminar was held in Plovdiv, right before the local and presidential elections in the country.
The program for this year included lectures from representatives of the Supreme Cassation Prosecutors’ Office (Emilia Peneva - "The interaction between the law enforcement institutions against vote buying and manipulative electoral practices - data on elections in 2013") and from the Ministry of Interior Academy (Chief assistant professor, dr. Tsvetana Petrova – “Active and passive electoral bribery – article 167,2–7 and article 167,a of the Criminal Code”). The current initiatives of the Public Council to the Central Electoral Commission as well as experience from civil monitoring and interactions between the NGOs and law enforcement authorities were presented to the participants by Antoaneta Tsoneva, Iva Lazarova (Institute for Public Environment Development) and Daniel Stoyanov (Association for Reintegration of the Sentenced Persons).
The morning panel on the 10th of May began with a presentation of Nikoleta Kuzmanova (professor of law at the Sofia University “St. Climent Ohridsky” and Chief Expert in the 42nd National Assembly Legal Committee). During the free discussion panels, special attention was given to the reasons and conditions for appearance of fraudulent practices during elections, as well as the possible scenarios for manipulation, related to the elections in 2014.