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Rule of law is the prime concern of Bulgarians in Romania

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Election day in Bucharest ended with an increased voter turnout compared to the turnout registered at the previous election. The election results there are different to the results inside Bulgaria, Radio Bulgaria’s correspondent in Bucharest Vladimir Mitev reports:

235 people cast their vote, i.e. more than the usual 200 who exercise their constitutional right here. The election in Romania was won by We Continue the Change with 88 votes, followed by Democratic Bulgaria with 48, GERB/SDS with 30, Vazrazhdane with 24, the Bulgarian Socialist Party for Bulgaria - 9, Bulgarian Rise - 7, There Is Such a People - 4 and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms - 1. Throughout the day I interviewed voters and it is true - the messages conveyed by the two parties (We Continue the Change and Democratic Bulgaria) about the judicial reform, about rule of law, about more Europe and rules, were shared by everyone I talked to.

Bulgarians in Romania say they have the feeling that Romania is moving in the right direction, towards more rule of law, more rights and more opportunities for professionals, for businesses. That is why they want to see the same kind of changes empowering the middle class in Bulgaria as well.

Romania has obviously somehow earned the support of the Bulgarians living there. Some have not been living there for very long, others have been pursuing a career for longer but there were people who travelled great distances just to be able to vote. Some came all the way from Bucharest 450 kilometres away because they believe that their vote matters, that the support they can give to one political force or another in Bulgaria makes a difference. They are motivated by a desire to see a positive change in Bulgaria. People said that even though they live in Romania, they have relations in Bulgaria, they care about the country and want to see changes that will allow them, or their children, to return at some point. And that explains their preferences for the parties with messages targeted at the middle class – a picture that is quite different to the picture in Bulgaria. Quite a few of the people I talked to, Vladimir Mitev says, stated they were pained by the constant sense of tension in Bulgaria. They were happy that Romania seems to have a clearer Euro-Atlantic orientation, and the rule of law seemed to be of prime concern for most of the people I talked to.

Reporting by Vladimir Mitev

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