Overview and context
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The Republic of Bulgaria is a parliamentary democracy with its latest Constitution adopted in 1991 after the fall of the Communist regime in 1989. The President is head of state, directly elected for a 5–year term with a two-term limit. The Prime Minister is head of the Government (Council of Ministers), which represents the executive branch. Legislative power is vested in both the Government and the National Assembly. The Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court are the highest judicial bodies.
The unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) is composed of 240 members elected by popular vote for four-year terms. The electoral system is closed-list proportional representation. The last (pro-term) parliamentary election was held in October 2014 and the next is planned for autumn 2018. Any member of the National Assembly or the Council of Ministers has the right to introduce a draft law. If the draft is adopted by the National Assembly after two readings, it is sent to the President of the Republic, who signs a decree for its promulgation or returns the bill to the National Assembly for further debate. The Act is promulgated in the State Gazette and enters into force within three days, unless specified otherwise.
The Council of Ministers adopts ‘secondary legislation’: decrees, ordinances (implementing certain provisions or sections of laws), regulations (implementing a law in its entirety), rules, orders and decisions. The individual ministers issue rules, regulations, instructions and orders (to instruct subordinate bodies on the implementation of normative Acts).