A tight victory for the anti-regime party opens the waiting time in Bulgaria

This content was published on Jul 12, 2021 – 04:04 PM

Vladislav Bunchev

Sofia, July 12 (EFE). Bulgarians face an uncertain waiting period after Sunday’s legislative elections as the anti-regime ITN party, which emerged from the 2020 anti-corruption protests, ousted the party of former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. , who has dominated politics in the country for the past 12 years.

Singer-songwriter Slavi Trifonov’s Existe Tal Pueblo (ITN) formation won the election with 23.91% of the vote, the Central Electoral Commission reported today.

He is closely followed, 23.69%, by Citizens for European Development in Bulgaria (GERB) led by the populist Borisov, who has been weary of accusations of collusion with a corrupt oligarchy and mafia, and lost the elections for the first time since 2009.

With this result, Trifonov, who did not provide evidence of his party’s program, regardless of his European and pro-NATO position, and promised to fight corruption, declared that he would try to rule alone and in the minority.

But it remains to be seen whether in the fragmented parliament he will get the necessary support so that the government he is proposing – but not leading – can take office.

Two elections in three months

Yesterday’s result mirrored that of April 4, when the “GERB” party received nearly 26% of the vote.

Despite the slight difference in its favour, the victory of the ITN is significant, because it is a new party, which arose from the anti-government demonstrations that rocked the poorest country in the European Union, and also considered the most corrupt, in 2020.

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Recession risk

But for the rest, the situation is not much different from what it was three months ago: a six-party split Parliament and a dividing line between the “old” and the “new” remains.

Among these are Socialists (13.56%) and the Turkish Minority Movement for Rights and Freedoms (10.66%), Democratic Bulgaria (12.56%) and Stand Up Bulgaria! Gangster out! (5.03%) are, along with ITN, the “newbies”, the three who were formed in last summer’s protests.

This formation of the 240-seat assembly prevented the formation of a new government after the last elections, prompting the country to vote again under a technical and temporary executive that took power on May 12.

According to analysts, the risk of recession has not dissipated.

Minority government?

Today Trifonov reiterated his categorical refusal to ally with some of the “traditionalists” whom he accuses of corruption, and assumed that he does not have a majority with the other two protest parties.

He declared that ITN “will present to the elected parliament its composition and government structure.”

The popular singer, who does not aspire to the position of prime minister, has already submitted the list of cabinet members he is proposing, most of whom are young lawyers trained at universities in the US and UK.

As a candidate for prime minister appears Nikolai Vasiliev, an expert in economics and finance presents him as a graduate of “four universities on three continents”, speaks seven languages ​​and was deputy prime minister and minister in two governments between 2001 and 2009.

For political scientist Parvan Semyonov, this approach is smart, because it responds to the desire for professional government expressed by Bulgarians in opinion polls and leaves other parties ahead of the “fait accompli”.

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“If they do not support this government, they will have to take responsibility for a new failure,” the expert explained to Efe.

Other analysts question the legitimacy of the strategy by a power that won less than a quarter of the vote.

For his part, Borisov questioned whether his opponent had a serious intention of ruling, and accused him of colluding with the country’s president, Rumen Radev, to keep the current technical government in power.

distrust of politicians

Artur Gerasimov, Special Coordinator and Head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Election Observation Mission, said today, “These elections took place amid the public’s persistent distrust of the political class.

He attributed this lack of confidence to “widespread accusations of corruption” and repeated elections.

A clear reflection of this distrust is the low turnout, which did not reach 40%, according to all demographic institutions, and in the absence of official data. EFE

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