Bulgarian court blocks higher election threshold


SOFIA, Bulgaria -- The Constitutional Court has struck down efforts to raise the threshold coalitions must meet to win seats in parliament, lawmakers Ognyan Gerdzhikov and Georgi Bliznashki announced on Tuesday (May 12th). Recent amendments to elections laws had doubled that threshold from 4% to 8%. The move by the Constitutional Court would mean the threshold would return to 4% for all parties and coalitions.

In other news Tuesday, the European Commission officially released 115m euros of blocked funding under the Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession (ISPA) programme. The move was in response to Bulgarian authorities demonstrating a higher degree of control and better observance of EU regulations.

Also Tuesday, Bulgarian world ice-dancing champion Maxim Staviski was sentenced to five years probation for a drunken driving accident in 2007 that left one person dead and another severely injured. This sentence, issued by the Supreme Court of Cassations, supersedes a previous two-year prison sentence. (Sega, 24 Chasa, Trud - 13/05/09; AP, AFP, Darik, Dnevnik, BTA, BGNES - 12/05/09)

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