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Registration of parties and coalitions for early elections and what it means

Photo: BGNES

On the closing date for registration for participation in the snap parliamentary vote due on 26 March, a total of 18 parties and 9 coalitions or a total of 27 political formations had submitted registration applications. By way of comparison, in 2014 there were registrations for the parliamentary elections by 22 parties and 7 coalitions, or 29 formations in all. The drop in the number of parties and increase in the number of coalitions is an indication that a process of political regrouping is underway – something that is plain to see throughout the entire political spectrum.

On its left end a new coalition appeared – ABV–Movement 21, bearing the names of two breakaway formations from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). While the BSP splinter parties have been forming an alliance for these early elections, the BSP itself formed a coalition by the name of BSP for Bulgaria, inside which it is cutting down the number of its partners from 12 to 6, the idea being to band together with parties it is allied to ideologically or parties which carry more electoral weight.  

On the opposite right-of-centre end, a shortened version of the  Reformist Bloc will be running in the March elections after two parties broke away from it -  the Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria and the Freedom and Dignity People’s Party (NPSD). The Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria registered in a coalition called New Republic, alongside the Union for Plovdiv and the Bulgarian Democratic Community. The NPSD will be taking part in the elections together with DOST, a splinter party that broke away from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS). The nationalistic Patriotic Front coalition which took part in the previous election together with the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria (NFSB) and the VMRO, is now having one more party added to it, Ataka and, as at the recent presidential vote, will be taking part in the early parliamentary election under the name of United Patriots – NFSB, Ataka and VMRO.

Registration for the March elections will be remembered for the fraudulent contestation of the legal registration of Yes, Bulgaria, because of which instead of running separately, this new party was forced to form a coalition with the Green party and the liberal formation DEOS.  

The fact itself that the political forces have been regrouping for the upcoming elections does not necessarily spell any palpable change in the political balance of power. All social surveys portend that five formations are certain to enter the future parliament – GERB, BSP, DPS, the United Patriots and the new party formed by businessman Mareshki – Volya; the Reformist Bloc is tottering on the edge of the 4 percent barrier for entering parliament. Actually, what the surveys do show is that however the political forces may regroup, the proportionality between them will not change and the small differences in the support for each one of the formations will only lead to more regrouping after the elections, not so much in the interest of any ideas, as in the interest of clinging to power.

English version: Milena Daynova 

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