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A three-question referendum was held in Bulgaria on 6 November 2016 alongside presidential elections.[1] Voters were asked whether they supported limiting public funding of political parties to one lev per year per valid vote received at the previous elections, the introduction of compulsory voting in elections and referendums, and changing the electoral system for the National Assembly to the two-round system.[2] In order to be binding, the number of voters participating in the referendum must be equal to or higher than the number who voted in the 2014 parliamentary elections.[3]

All three proposals were supported by a majority of those voting, but turnout was slightly lower than the 2014 parliamentary elections, meaning the quorum was not met. However, as over 20% of registered voters voted in favour, the proposals will still have to be debated in the National Assembly.[4] The National Assembly rejected to legalize anything of the three questions. A legal case has been started for manipulation of the vote by the initiators, but the Supreme Court ruled out the referendum invalid.[5]

Despite the insufficiency of 0.2% (12,000 people) of the turnout for the referendum to be 51% and to have mandatory effect, the turnout was based only on number of valid votes, not on number of voters.[6] Some sections could not serve all the voters in reasonable time and a number waited on the line and could not vote,[7][8][9] other sections closed earlier than the appointed time(8 PM) and in some sections entire boxes with ballots were locked in the sections themselves to avoid their enumeration.[10][11][12][13] According to the Electoral Commission more than 12,000 ballots for not having envelope were excluded from the turnout alone.[14]


Question For Against None of the above Invalid/
Votes % Votes % Votes %
Two-round system for parliamentary elections 2,509,864 73.80 560,024 16.47 330,928 9.73 87,668 3,488,484 6,865,086 50.81
Compulsory voting 2,158,929 63.48 905,691 26.63 336,180 9.89 87,668 3,488,468 50.81
Political funding 2,516,791 74.02 523,759 15.40 359,778 10.58 87,668 3,487,996 50.81
Source: CIK


  1. ^ Bulgaria’s 2016 presidential elections: Voters to have ‘I don’t support anyone’ option Sofia Glove, 9 October 2016
  2. ^ Bulgarian TV Host Registers Committee for Referendum on Political System Novinite, 23 September 2016
  3. ^ Bulgaria's Referendum on Voting System Surprisingly May Pass Threshold Novinite, 7 November 2016
  4. ^ After a Day of Uncertainty, Bulgaria Voting System Referendum Falls Through Novinite, 8 November 2016
  5. ^ "Съдът отмени решението на ЦИК, но референдумът не става задължителен - България -". (in Bulgarian).
  6. ^ "Слави Трифонов: ЦИК извършва чудовищна манипулация с референдума". bTV Новините (in Bulgarian).
  7. ^ телевизия, Нова. "ХАОС В СЕКЦИИТЕ В ЕВРОПА: Българи зад граница не успяха да гласуват". (in Bulgarian).
  8. ^ "Опашки и напрежение пред много от секциите в чужбина (галерия) -".
  9. ^ "Десетки българи в Лондон не успяха да гласуват". (in Bulgarian). 7 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Бюлетини от референдума не са предадени в община Бяла". bTV Новините (in Bulgarian).
  11. ^ "Граждани алармират: Не се дават бюлетини за референдума". (in Bulgarian).
  12. ^ "Чистачка в училище намери захвърлени валидни бюлетини за референдума - Плевен -". (in Bulgarian).
  13. ^ "Бюлетини за референдума "заключени" в секция в БялаTVN.BG". (in Bulgarian).
  14. ^ Team, Slavi's Show Web. "12 481 бюлетини за референдума са извадени от избирателната активност | Шоуто на Слави".