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The political picture in Bulgaria after the snap Parliamentary election

Photo: BGNES

The path towards a change in the governance model is clear – said journalist Ivan Garelov in connection with the results of the snap Parliamentary elections in Bulgaria held on July 11. The margin between the political forces, which placed first and second, is slim – under 1%. Although the former ruling party GERB leads by a slim margin, their election result is tantamount to a defeat, which has not happened in the past 12 years. The Movement for Rights and Freedoms also lost at the latest elections – “this political party has lost its role of a balancer, perhaps forever”– noted Vesislava Tancheva, experts in political communications.

“In my view, the huge outflow of votes for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) does not come from abroad, but from their own ranks- said Vesislava Tancheva in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio. For many years DPS thought that it could use and mobilize the Bulgarian Turks at any time. However, this time they refused to cast their ballots in support of this political party. The other thing that happened at the early general elections is that the weight of the vote buying has never been so small since the beginning of the democratic changes in this country. This is due to a big extent to machine voting, as well as to the inability of the parties to control vote buying. As a result, they gave up spending money on vote buying. As a matter of fact, voter turnout in polling stations located in Roma residential districts is extremely low- around 10%, whereas at previous elections voter turnout in these polling stations fluctuated between 40% and 60%.”

Bulgaria’s caretaker cabinet made revelations of abusive practices concerning GERB’s government. Such revelations would cause serious damages in advances democracies:

“In Bulgaria, the impact of these revelations was limited – noted Vesislava Tancheva.- Undoubtedly, confidence in GERB party has eroded. However, in my view, the controlled vote and the loyalty of some companies, which instructed their employees how to vote, made up for the erosion of confidence in GERB.”

GERB is neck and neck with There is Such a People Party at the latest elections. Another snap election would be detrimental to the parties of change, forecasted sociologist Kancho Stoychev. “The formation of a government is unavoidable”, said Kancho Stoychev in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio.

“I think that the political parties will not form a coalition, but we are to witness the formation of a minority government instead. The future Bulgarian cabinet will be under permanent and strong control by this country’s National Assembly. The most important thing that happened recently is that the role of Bulgaria’s Parliament has been restored, because the National Assembly is the place for public debate on important topics, not for political posturing.”

“The political picture has not changed fundamentally”, contends political scientist Hristo Panchugov who lectures at the New Bulgarian University. The lack of clarity why the previous National Assembly failed to nominate a cabinet made a number of people refrain from voting on July 11, which resulted in the extremely low voter turnout registered at the snap general elections. According to a parallel vote tabulation conducted by Gallup International, voter turnout at the July 11 elections was 38.4%. In this situation some political analysts do not rule out the possibility for Bulgaria to head towards third general elections this year.

“In my view, the society is now looking for a clear responsibility and political vision. We are not talking about underhand political dealings, but about someone taking the responsibility to chart the future course of this country. If this does not happen now, Bulgarians will punish all participants in this game and the punishment will be more severe than the parties can imagine. In other words, it would be quite risky for the political parties to head towards third general elections. I think that the Bulgarian politicians would not dare playing such a game- the circumstances will force them to form a cabinet, no matter how difficult this task is.”

Editing by: Elena Karkalanova

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: BGNES

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