Bulgaria faces difficult government formation


After the election in Bulgaria there are more questions than answers: Can the winner and Prime Minister Borisov form a government again? Or are the many other parties forging a coalition?

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov’s party remains the strongest political force after the elections in Bulgaria, but is facing complicated negotiations for a new government alliance. Borissov’s GERB party received around 25 percent of the vote, according to forecasts by Gallup International and other polling institutes. In addition, a fragmented parliament with probably seven parties emerged – it is therefore questionable whether Borissov can forge a coalition again after the election under Corona conditions.

There is a close head-to-head race for second place: both the protest party “There is such a people” (ITN) of the TV presenter and cabaret artist Slavi Trifonow and the opposition socialists are given 15 to 17 percent. Two other protest parties, the Turkish party DPS and the nationalist WMRO, are also forecast to move into parliament.

“You wanted power and change is inevitable”

In view of the distribution of forces, the formation of a government is becoming difficult. The parties that are expected to have overcome the four percent hurdle for entry into parliament have very different priorities. For some, the introduction of the euro by January 1, 2024, which Borissov is aiming for, is particularly important, while the socialists are primarily focusing on closer cooperation with Russia. ITN has campaigned for votes by calling for a system change.

ITN announced on TV channel 7/8 that it would not enter into a coalition with the “parties of the status quo” – Borissows GERB, the socialists and the party of the Turkish minority DPS. “You wanted power and change is inevitable,” Trifonov told his voters on Facebook.

“Serious Change”

“The Bulgarian political system is undergoing (…) a serious change,” Hristo Ivanov, the co-chairman of the conservative-liberal-green coalition Democratic Bulgaria (DB), told the state radio. The alliance was part of the summer protests with corruption allegations against Borisov’s coalition government. Now DB can count on around ten percent of the vote. Ivanov did not rule out new elections.

The head of the nationalist WMRO, Krassimir Karakachanov, whose party has just made it into parliament according to the forecasts, also spoke of new elections. WMRO has been Borissov’s junior partner since 2017. Borisov has ruled intermittently since 2009.

According to Gallup International, the turnout was around 48 percent. Official information on this was not available. Official interim results were hardly to be expected on Sunday evening. The final results are expected in up to four days after the election.

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