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Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria

Prom. SG. 56/13 Jul 1991, amend. SG. 85/26 Sep 2003, amend. SG. 18/25 Feb 2005

Chapter one.

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES

Art. 1. (1) Bulgaria shall be a republic with a parliamentary form of government.

(2) The entire power of the state shall derive from the people. The people shall exercise this power directly and through the bodies established by this Constitution.

(3) No part of the people, no political party nor any other organization, state institution or individual shall usurp the expression of the popular sovereignty.

Art. 2. (1) The Republic of Bulgaria shall be an integral state with local self-government. No autonomous territorial formations shall exist.

(2) The territorial integrity of the Republic of Bulgaria shall be inviolable.

Art. 3. Bulgarian shall be the official language of the Republic.

Art. 4. (1) The Republic of Bulgaria shall be a law-governed state. It shall be governed by the Constitution and the laws of the country.

(2) The Republic of Bulgaria shall guarantee the life, dignity and rights of the individual and shall create conditions conducive to the free development of the individual and of civil society.

(3) (new – SG 18/05) The Republic of Bulgaria shall participate in the establishing and the development of the European Union.

Art. 5. (1) The Constitution shall be the supreme law, and no other law shall contravene it.

(2) The provisions of the Constitution shall apply directly.

(3) No one shall be convicted for action or inaction which at the time it was committed, did not constitute a crime.

(4) Any international instruments which have been ratified by the constitutionally established procedure, promulgated and having come into force with respect to the Republic of Bulgaria, shall be considered part of the domestic legislation of the country. They shall supersede any domestic legislation stipulating otherwise.

(5) All legislative acts shall be promulgated and shall come into force three days after the date of their promulgation unless otherwise envisaged by the acts themselves.

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Art. 10. All elections, and national and local referendums shall be held on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

Art. 11. (1) Politics in the Republic of Bulgaria shall be founded on the principle of political plurality.

(2) No political party or ideology shall be proclaimed or affirmed as a party or ideology of the state.

(3) All parties shall facilitate the formation and expression of the citizens' political will. The procedure applying to the formation and dissolution of political parties and the conditions pertaining to their activity shall be established by law.

(4) There shall be no political parties on ethnic, racial or religious lines, nor parties which seek the violent seizure of state power.

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Chapter two. FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF CITIZENS

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Art. 42. (1) Every citizen above the age of 18, with the exception of those placed under judicial interdiction or serving a prison sentence, shall be free to elect state and local authorities and vote in referendums.

(2) The organisation and procedure for the holding of elections and referendums shall be established by law.

(3) (new – SG 18/05) The elections for members of the European Parliament and the participation of citizens of the European Union in elections for local bodies shall be provided with a law.

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Chapter three. NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Art. 62. The National Assembly shall be vested with the legislative authority and shall exercise parliamentary control.

Art. 63. The National Assembly shall consist of 240 members.

Art. 64. (1) The National Assembly shall be elected for a term of four years.

(2) In case of war, armed hostilities or another state of emergency occurring during or after the expiry of the National Assembly's term, its mandate shall be extended until the expiry of the circumstances.

(3) Elections for a new National Assembly shall be held within two months from the expiry of the mandate of the preceding one.

Art. 65. (1) Eligible for election to the National Assembly shall be any Bulgarian citizen who does not hold another citizenship, is above the age of 21, is not under a judicial interdiction, and is not serving a prison sentence.

(2) A candidate for a National Assembly seat holding a state post shall resign upon the registration of his candidacy.

Art. 66. The legitimacy of an election may be contested before the Constitutional Court by a procedure established by law.

Art. 67. (1) Members of the National Assembly shall represent not only their constituencies but the entire nation. No Member shall be held to a mandatory mandate.

(2) Members of the National Assembly shall act on the basis of the Constitution and the laws and in accordance with their conscience and convictions.

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Art. 84. The National Assembly shall:

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4. schedule the elections for a President of the Republic;

5. resolve on the holding of a national referendum;

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Chapter four. PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

Art. 92. (1) The President shall be the head of state. He shall embody the unity of the nation and shall represent the state in its international relations.

(2) The President shall be assisted in his actions by a Vice President.

Art. 93. (1) The President shall be elected directly by the voters for a period of five years by a procedure established by law.

(2) Eligible for President shall be any natural-born Bulgarian citizen over 40 years of age and qualified to be elected to the National Assembly, who has resided in the country for the five years preceding the election.

(3) To be elected, a candidate shall require more than one-half of the valid ballots, provided that more than half of all eligible voters have cast their ballots in the election.

(4) Should none of the candidates for President be elected, a second round vote shall be held within seven days between the two top candidates. The winner shall be the candidate who wins the majority of the vote.

(5) A presidential election shall be held not earlier than three months and not later than two months before the expiry of the term of office of the incumbent President.

(6) The Constitutional Court shall rule upon any challenge to the legality of a presidential election no later than one month after the election.

Art. 94. The Vice President shall be elected at the same time and on the same ticket as the President, on the same conditions and by the same procedure.

Art. 95. (1) The President and the Vice President shall be eligible for only one re-election to the same office.

(2) The President and the Vice President shall not serve as Members of the National Assembly or engage in any other state, public or economic activity, nor shall they participate in the leadership of any political party.

Art. 96. The President and the Vice President shall swear before the National Assembly the oath established by Art. 76 para 2.

Art. 97. (1) The President's or Vice President's authority shall expire before the expiry of his term of office upon any of the following occurrences:

1. resignation submitted before the Constitutional Court;

2. lasting incapacitation caused by a grave illness;

3. pursuant to Art. 103.

4. death;

(2) In instances 1 and 2, the prerogatives of the President or Vice President shall be suspended upon the Constitutional Court's establishing the existence of the respective circumstances;

(3) In instance 1, the Vice President shall assume the duties of the President until the expiry of the term of office.

(4) Should the Vice President be incapable of assuming the President's duties, the President's prerogatives shall be assumed by the Chairman of the National Assembly until the election of a new President and Vice President. Elections for President and Vice President shall then be held within two months.

Art. 98. The President of the Republic shall:

1. schedule the elections for a National Assembly and for the bodies of local self-government and shall set the date for national referendums pursuant to a resolution of the National Assembly;

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Art. 103. (1) The President and Vice President shall not be held liable for actions committed in the performance of their duties, except for high treason, or a violation of the Constitution.

(2) An impeachment shall require a motion from no fewer than one quarter of all Members of the National Assembly and shall stand if supported by more than two-thirds of the Members.

(3) An impeachment against the President or Vice President shall be tried by the Constitutional Court within a month following the lodging of the impeachment. Should the Constitutional Court convict the President or Vice President of high treason, or of a violation of the Constitution, the President's or Vice President's prerogatives shall be suspended.

(4) No one shall place the President or the Vice President under detention, nor shall initiate criminal proceedings against them.

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Chapter seven. LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT AND LOCAL ADMINISTRATION

Art. 135. (1) The territory of the Republic of Bulgaria shall be divided into municipalities and regions. The territorial division and the prerogatives of the capital city and the other major cities shall be established by law.

(2) Other administrative territorial units and bodies of self-government shall be establishable by law.

Art. 136. (1) A municipality shall be the basic administrative territorial unit at the level of which self-government shall be practised. Citizens shall participate in the government of the municipality both through their elected bodies of local self-government and directly, through a referendum or a general meeting of the populace.

(2) The borders of a municipality shall be established following a referendum of the populace.

(3) A municipality shall be a juridical person.

Art. 137. (1) Municipalities shall be free to associate in the solution of common matters.

(2) The law shall establish conditions conducive to association among municipalities.

Art. 138. The body of local self-government within a municipality shall be a municipal council elected directly by the populace for a term of four years by a procedure established by law.

Art. 139. (1) The mayor shall be the body of executive power within a municipality. He shall be elected by the municipal council for a term of four years by a procedure established by law.

(2) In his activity a mayor shall be guided by the law, the acts of the municipal council and the decisions of the populace.

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Chapter eight. CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

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Art. 149. (1) The Constitutional Court shall:

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5. rule on challenges to the constitutionality of political parties and associations;

6. rule on challenges to the legality of the election of the President and Vice President;

7. rule on challenges to the legality of an election of a Member of the National Assembly; 8. rule on impeachment by the National Assembly against the President or the Vice President.

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