Electoral Committee Preparing for Next March's National Polls ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Scanpix

The March 1 parliamentary elections are closing in nearly as fast as Christmas, and the National Electoral Committee has already begun making preparations.

The period for signing up to run begins in December, after the president has announced the distribution of mandates between electoral districts. Candidates will have until January 15 to register.

Before registering, current and potential MPs will have to pay a deposit, which this time has been set at the minimum salary in 2014, which is 355 euros. That figure was two minimum gross monthly salaries at the previous elections, which calculated to a little over 550 euros.

The election day is March 1, with ballot boxes open from February 14 in embassies. E-elections and advance polls will open on February 19.

The move to decrease deposits for candidates is in line with the People's Assembly (a citizen's parliament held as a reaction to what was perceived as political stagnation) drive to open up the political scene. Parliament already approved the lowering of the number of people needed to form a political party from 1,000 to 500, which led to the formation of two new political parties. The election threshold is still at 5 percent.