The Bulgarian Democratic Deficit – 3

It is with utmost anxiety that I write this post.

It appears that today in Bulgaria democracy is crumbling. I have three specific sets of evidence for this observation:

1. Media laws are re-written in an erroneous manner, with specific considerations definitely not in the common interest. Source: Nelly Ognyanova.
2. Election law is engineered to keep one specific coalition out of parliament. This is done by doubling the threshold for coalitions from 4% to 8% (until now the threshold has been the samefor parties AND coalitions – 4%). Source: Rumyana Kolarova.
3. The leadership of a political party that participates in the aforementioned coalition has been denied registration in the Sofia District Court because it was elected by direct party elections, and, according to the court, “direct party elections have not been made [before] in Bulgaria”.

There are at least two ways to look at this. One is the scientific approach – and we can talk about deliberative democracy as defined by Habermas, or about the seminal work of Putnam on Italy’s democracy and institutions in order to draw some analogies.

But I am much more inclined to remind that Bulgaria is a Member State of the European Union, and as such should at all times comply with the Copenhagen criteria for membership and the principles laid down in Article 6(1) of the Treaty on European Union. Political criteria include stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities.

Should we not comply with these criteria, where should we belong???

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