EP Elections 2019: Campaign is difficult and controversial

Photo: BGNES

We are half way through the European elections campaign. The campaign is bleak and perhaps the forecasts for low voter turnout at the forthcoming elections for members of the European Parliament will be confirmed. Only two political parties used their right to make statements during the opening of the summer session of the Bulgarian National Assembly – GERB and Volya. The United Patriots and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms refrained from making statements and the Bulgarian Socialist Party continues to boycott the Bulgarian Parliament. The individual appearances of the candidates for MEPs are lost amidst the massive flow of media information and it is difficult for the Bulgarians to focus on the common messages of the political parties which nominated candidates for members of the next European Parliament. The Bulgarian Socialist Party called on Premier Boyko Borissov to take a leave during the European Elections campaign and asked the competent institutions to impose sanctions on him for the use of state resource for conducting an election campaign. However, Boyko Borissov contends that he did not attend even a single election event in the recent days. The ruling GERB party is also criticized by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms for conducting different policies in the European Union and Bulgaria. MRF notes that in the EU GERB party supports the language diversity and in Bulgaria it prohibits the official use of other languages, including during election campaigns. The election campaign of VMRO party shows that this political formation is trying to attract the nationalist vote after the political parties from the United Patriots coalition decided to run independently at the forthcoming European elections. It is most difficult to find information in the media about the election activities of the party of the Bulgarian businessman Veselin Mareshki –Volya, which is paradoxical, because Volya is second to GERB party in the amount paid for media coverage contracts. Given that the political parties need to earn at least 6% of the votes to send an MEP to the future European Parliament, the vote for Volya party would be the dearest if the sociological forecasts that this party would receive 1.7% of the votes materialize. However, each forecast and projection in this moment is quite uncertain, because some political parties may have an ace up their sleeve and may use it in the last moment of the election campaign.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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