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Residents of Gluhar are tired of voting, hope that young Bulgarians would return from abroad

More than one third of the village’s residents live abroad

Photo: Илияна Типова

The residents of the small village of Gluhar take a responsible attitude towards the forthcoming two-in-one elections. However, they do not believe anymore that the change for a better life depends on elections. They realize that poverty and migration are due to the selfishness of the politicians who push them in the background. Their children went abroad to earn a living. Gluhar is among the most developed villages in Kardhali district and is located only 6 kilometers south of the district town. There is a school, a library, a shop, a pharmacy, an administrative building and a railway station in the village. Most of the village residents are Muslims. In 2010, a large mosque was built in Gluhar with donations from local citizens and companies based in Kardzhali.

Although the small mountain village offers good opportunities and living conditions, its residents continue to go abroad, the village mayor Erkan Yusein told the BNR.

“Nearly 750 people live permanently in the village of Gluhar. There are more than 2,100 residents, but most of them live abroad. The number of people living in Gluhar during the summer months reaches 1,200-1,300. The village of Gluhar is a nice place to live. Almost all streets are asphalted. Migration is the main problem in this Bulgarian village.

I remember that in 2007, when I was elected a mayor of Gluhar, there were only 15 street lamps. Over the years, their number increased to 366. However, back then, there were 720 eligible voters, whereas now this is roughly the number of all permanent residents. This problem does not exist in the Municipality of Kardzhali only. It is a national problem.”

The residents of Gluhar said that voting via voting machines at the previous general elections in July was easy and are not worried about the forthcoming elections. They are tired of voting, but they will not give up and will vote again, because they hope that this time the politicians will reach an agreement and form a government. The local residents have not stopped believing that a new political force will appear and will make Bulgaria a better place to live. How do the residents of Gluhar imagine the new Bulgarian President? 

“The President must embody the unity of the nation. However, I doubt that the parties will be able to form a cabinet. Hopefully, they will be a regular government, because the situation is more difficult when caretaker cabinets are in charge. I will cast my ballot hoping for a strong government, which is able to solve the economic problems and keep Bulgarians in their home country”, a resident of Gluhar said.

Here is what a female resident of the village says:

“People are tired of voting, but everyone must go to the polling stations and vote for a better future and better days. Bulgaria will go bankrupt, if elections take place every 3 or 4 months. This is our money. This time we vote for Parliament and President in the same day. Elections will be a bit more difficult and some people may be confused. However, we will go to the polling stations filled with hope that no more Bulgarians leave our country and that the young people will return to the village of Gluhar one day.”

Compiled by: Gergana Mancheva (based on a reporting by Iliana Tipova and Bozhidar Cholakov, BNR Kardzhali)

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: archive,  Iliana Typova, Bozhdar Cholakov, Facebook / @GluharKoyu

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