Bulgaria: Mayor plans referendum in which Roma cannot vote
PHOTO: Google Maps
News server focus-fen.net reported on 9 June that Petar Paunov, Mayor of Kyustendil, told a Bulgarian television station that he plans to call a local referendum to ask whether he should run for a third term this fall - one that would exclude Romani voters. The mayor said that vote-buying in the Roma community is always widely-covered by the media and that he did "not want to discredit the poll”.
Paunov reportedly plans to exclude Romani voters by forbidding residents of streets in the Iztok quarter of Kyustendil from voting in the referendum. He has insisted that his move is not discriminatory, offering the unique (and erroneous) opinion that discrimination only applies to education or employment, and claims that excluding Romani voters will prevent the election from being "rigged".
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