Following a row within the ruling party and hot debates, Bulgaria's Parliament passed the new Electoral Code at first reading.
Out of 175 MPs that cast their vote, 160 backed the code, one voted no and fourteen abstained.
A large group of the ruling party's MPs who are against the bill left the hall during the debates and did not take part in the ballot. The draft of the new code was tabled by MP Emil Koshlukov from the incumbent majority who was said to have had a loud quarrel with a group from his own party late on Wednesday.
His vision combines proportional representation with a majority electoral system. The code passed on Wednesday constitutes that half of Bulgaria's lawmakers should be elected according to the majority system while the rest will represent proportionally the different parties. Thus the voters need to cast two voting-papers.
Another provision in the emerging code would turn permanent the Central Election Commission. Its members will be elected in equal quotas by the Parliament, the president and the Supreme Cassation Court and replaced every three years.