New party is ahead: Bulgarians want to vote out corruption

New party is ahead
Bulgarians want to vote out corruption

A new parliament is being elected in Bulgaria, for the third time in a year. However, the interest of the citizens has now reached a low point. The surprising winner could be a new anti-corruption party.

According to initial forecasts, a new anti-corruption party is ahead in the parliamentary elections in Bulgaria. However, it is neck and neck with the bourgeois GERB party. Three polling institutes saw the party “We are continuing the change” (PP) with a good 26 percent of the vote on Sunday evening.

The GERB party of Prime Minister Boiko Borissow, who was voted out in April, should come in second with around 23 percent of the vote. According to the forecasts, a total of seven parties could move into parliament. Among them is the nationalist and corona-denying party Wasrashdane (“rebirth”). Official interim results are not expected until Monday morning.

The third parliamentary election within a year was necessary because the people’s assembly, which was only elected in July, was unable to achieve a majority capable of governing. In the past year, a broad protest movement had formed against the then head of government Bossikow, who was accused of corruption and political arbitrariness. The transitional government set up after the elections in April found plenty of evidence of this.

Radew is ahead in the presidential election

“Bulgaria is embarking on a new path,” said the co-chairman of the anti-corruption party PP, Kiril Petkov, on election night. The graduate of the US elite university Harvard held out the prospect of a coalition government around the new party. He ruled out a collaboration with Borissows GERB and the Turkish party DPS. He named the fight against corruption and judicial reform as the main goals. Petkov was Minister of Economics in the transitional cabinet from May to September.

In the presidential election, head of state Rumen Radew has, according to forecasts, clearly won the first round with a good 49 percent of the vote. Nevertheless, he has to go to a runoff against the second-placed Anastas Gerdschikow (25 percent), as he could not unite more than half of the votes. Former fighter pilot and air force chief Radew was supported by the socialists (former communists) and protest parties. The rector of Sofia Gerdschikow University ran as an independent and was supported by Borisov’s GERB party.

The double election in the poorest EU country was organized in the midst of a violent fourth corona wave. There were mobile ballot boxes for Covid-19 patients and people in quarantine. The turnout turned out to be quite low. The Central Election Commission (ZIK) spoke of a record low.

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