1946 Bulgarian republic referendum

A referendum on becoming a republic was held in Bulgaria on 8 September 1946.[1] Although considered unconstitutional according to the Tarnovo Constitution still active at the time,[2] the result was 95.6% in favour of the change, with voter turnout reported to be 91.7%.[3] The country was declared to be the People's Republic of Bulgaria on 15 September 1946, formally putting an end to the Kingdom. On the following day the de jure head of state, King Simeon II and his mother, Queen Giovanna, were forced to leave the country, although the queen wanted to leave Bulgaria after the execution of Prince Kiril on 1 February 1945.[4] After the referendum, a republican constitution (known as the Dimitrov Constitution) was introduced the following year.[5]

1946 Bulgarian republic referendum
8 September 1946
Votes %
Yes 3,833,183 95.63%
No 175,231 4.37%
Valid votes 4,008,414 96.99%
Invalid or blank votes 124,507 3.01%
Total votes 4,132,921 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 4,509,354 91.65%

According to the Tarnovo Constitution, no such referendum was admissible, as it did not envisage a change of the state system. The only way it could be changed was by convening a Grand National Assembly, and this could only take place by a decision of the monarch.[2]


Choice Votes %
Republic 3,833,183 95.6
Monarchy 175,231 4.4
Invalid/blank votes 124,507
Total 4,132,921 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,509,354 91.7
Source: Nohlen & Stöver


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p368 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ a b "1946: Third Bulgarian Kingdom ends with a referendum". bnr.bg. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  3. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p375
  4. ^ "1946: ИСТИНСКИЯТ РЕФЕРЕНДУМ | Вестник "ДУМА"". Duma. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  5. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p355