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Chairman Georgi Pirinski Underlines Priority of Legislation Oriented towards Social Issues at the Opening Press Conference of the National Assembly’s 10th Session
September 8th, 2008

Legislation covering social issues is to be the priority in the National Assembly’s work at the start of the new Session, Georgi Pirinski said before journalists. At a special press conference two days ahead of the opening of the 10th Session of the 40th NA he presented the new technology for casting votes.

Chairman Pirinski noticed that in the course of this session the National Assembly was going to work on a number of bills, such as the elimination of conflict of interests, the regulation of lobbying and on amendments to the penal law. Among the laws covering economic issues he underscored the importance of the amendments to the Public Procurement Act, to Tax laws, as well as the adoption of the 2009 Budget of the country. On the agenda for the forthcoming session are bills regulating the media, the electronic communications and the measures to increase energy efficiency, the introduction of a single emergency phone number 112, which is to be used in the whole country.

He also said that at this session the parliamentary majority at the NA was planning to launch the debates over a new electoral legislation, so as to prevent the existing practice of amending those laws at the last minute before the elections. He stressed that a change in the whole electoral process is necessary. The legislation regarding the political parties and the electoral system will be the object of a serious debate and legislation. The electoral campaigning, the formation of political representation and the opportunities for voters to make decisions based on political programs, arguments and personalities rather than on other manipulations or following party lines instructions should be on the focus of the debates.

Georgi Pirinski mentioned that he is expecting the Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev to report before members of parliament on the interaction of the country with the EU in the first weeks after the opening of the 10th Session. He stressed that according to the Rules of Organization of the NA, such a report is due every six months.
During the Tenth Session deputies will discuss a number of reports from ministries and executive agencies. On the agenda of the NA are the report on the country’s defense and the report of the parliamentary committee against corruption.

Georgi Pirinski briefed journalists with the new system for casting votes in the plenary hall.
The new technology replaces completely the old one. It is based on modern technologies and is more reliable. It replaces the old DOS system with Windows. Up to now the MPs had two cards – one for identification and one for voting. The new system reduces the number of cards to one for both functions.

Answering a question from a journalist, he explained that the new system can not prevent voting with somebody else’s card completely and said that the latter remains an ethical issue for every MP to tackle. He explained that the schedule for voting is such that every MP could be present in the plenary hall during voting.

Chairman Pirinski presented some curious details regarding the creation of the new technology. It was accomplished by the hard work of 19 IT specialists. The work took them some 1000 working days to be completed. It was achieved with the help of the IT Department in the National Assembly. The new system gives more explicit and visual information on individual and on parliamentary groups’ vote.
Its introduction was preceded by a serious study of those in the parliaments in other European Union member countries but the final solution remains entirely Bulgarian intellectual property.
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