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Young people undeterred in their ambition to bring about normalization of the country

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After the regular elections for parliament held on 4 April, 2021, the parties in the 45th National Assembly failed to form a cabinet, after parliament itself held only 9 sittings. Analysts and sociologists say that they actually served as a rostrum for election campaigning, extending the election campaign period beyond the stipulated one month before the election date.

The desire to change the model of governance and for rooting out the corruption practices of the past 11 years prompted almost 18,000 Bulgarians living abroad to exercise their right to vote at the elections in April. It is yet to be seen how many of them are going to cast their vote on 11 July at one of the 784 polling stations set up outside the country. While those who have come back to Bulgaria for their summer holidays will be able to exercise their right to vote at one of the 9,401 polling places inside the country where voting will be entirely by machine.

Public perceptions are that the choice people will make on 11 July will be for the administration to contribute to the change in the country, to making it a preferred place to live and to develop. That is true most of all of the young people who are at a crossroads and will have to choose whether to go abroad or to remain in their country.

Medical student Mina Ivanova says, in an interview for the BNR’s Radio Varna, that she will definitely vote on Sunday and that she expects the candidates to do their absolute best to live up to their pre-election promises and goals.

Many of the young Bulgarians are patriotically-minded even though their dreams overstep the bounds of their country. One such young person is Daniel Lukanov, who graduated from a foreign language school a month ago and will be continuing his education in Vienna, but who says he hopes to return to the country one day. The elections on 4 April were the first elections in his life, and he says he will definitely do the “resit”. “On 11 July I am going to vote but I am also going to be on the election commission,” Daniel says and adds that in the two months between the two elections he has not altered his position and is going to cast the same ballot:

“I shall vote the same way I did the first time. I am not disappointed in any way and my expectations have so far been fully justified,” he says. “I believe that to affect change successfully people’s attitudes must also be redirected. Actually, the problem we have always had in Bulgaria is that we are very much divided in our views, in our beliefs. It sometimes happens that in our attempt to achieve something we cross the red line of our values, of our moral boundaries. It is my belief that this ought not to happen.”

Some of the young people criticize the parties which were part of the 45th National Assembly and their inability to get down to work as a team even though some of them seem to have the same goals:

“To my mind one of the reasons was the unwillingness of the politicians to bring their respective positions closer so as to be able to reach common solutions,” university student Vasilena Radkova says. “I think that what led us to this was the political hubris of some of the parties. Another possible reason is the voter turnout which was not particularly high.”

Young people regard the elections as a way to demonstrate their personal responsibility and a way to overcome the enduring dictum that we are always waiting for someone from the outside to solve our problems instead of tackling them ourselves. That is why they are calling for active participation in the elections because every vote matters and counts in the transformation of the country.

Interviews by Horizont channel and Radio Varna, BNR

Compiled by: Yoan Kolev

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