Sofia, May 3 (RFE/RL) -- The Bulgarian parliament today opened debate in Sofia on a law to regulate government and commercial broadcasting and cable transmissions.
The law as drafted would give a National Radio and Television Council governance over Bulgarian national radio and TV. The council would be controlled by members of Bulgaria's ruling Socialist Party.
The council would be authorized to enforce more than 40 separate restrictions of speech and the dissemination of information and opinion. It would forbid broadcast of news not received from official channels or quoted from official documents or not originating from a news agency. It would penalize failure to quote accurately public statements. It would require broadcast of government-sanctioned utterances.
Foreign language broadcasting by Bulgarian stations would be banned.
Debate on the measure was scheduled for today to coincide with World Press Freedom Day.