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Bulgaria’s Ethnic Turks Contest 2009 Vote in Strasbourg October 15, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Bulgaria, Turkey, Turkish minority of Bularia.
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Ethnic Turkish Party Contests Bulgarian Election Results in Strasbourg: Bulgaria's Ethnic Turks Contest 2009 Vote in Strasbourg
The leadership of Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms is challenging the results of the summer 2009 general elections in Bulgaria. The picture shows Hristo Biserov (l) and Lyutvi Mestan.

Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) has filed a complaint with the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg contesting the results of the 2009 general elections.

The information was reported Wednesday by the Bulgarian daily “Sega” (Now), citing sources from the party’s leadership.

The edition also quotes prominent and experienced in human rights cases Bulgarian lawyer, Emil Ekimdzhiev, who said DPS can claim its Members of the Parliament, whose election was annulled, suffered moral damages along with the entire political organization. According to Ekimdzhiev, in similar cases the Court awards EUR 10 000 in compensations. He, however, declined commenting on eventual political consequences from the outcome of the trial, only saying such cases usually drag on for 6 to 7 years and that he had been invited as council, but had rejected the offer.

The complaint stems from the April 2, 2010 refusal of the Constitutional Court to launch a trial in the case of the reshuffle of several MPs terms as a result from a law suit filed by the conservative Order, Law and Justice (RZS) party. Due to the reshuffle, DPS lost one parliamentary seat while the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party gained one.

The claim with the Strasbourg Court is based on the Human Rights Convention articles, regulating the right of a due process and defense and the right to use effective legal means before the national authorities.

The ethnic Turkish party complained their position had not been heard by the Court as early as the RZS trial was going on, saying they were refused the right of defense and due process.

DPS further say striking 18 000 votes cast in neighboring Turkey only because the protocols were not signed violates the right of free elections.

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