The presidential and local elections in Bulgaria took place yesterday October 23. The center-right ruling GERB party's bidder Rosen Plevneliev won the greatest number of votes in the presidential elections to make it to the run-off, while the GERB bidders in capital Sofia, Burgas - the second-largest city-, Dobrich and Gabrovo won their mayoral seats in the first round. The results from the first round of the presidential and local elections have been interpreted as a great success by the Government.
Here below please find a more detailed analyses of both elections:
• Bulgaria's current socialist President Parvanov has served two five-year terms and was barred from seeking re-election. Although the President is a figurehead and real power lies with Borisov Government, the low turnout (47%) was widely seen as snub to the whole political establishment. A run-off will be held Oct. 30, because none of the candidates garnered more than 50%.
• Former Construction Minister Rosen Plevneliev from the center-right party GERB of PM Borisov has emerged as the leader (41.1%), but he has been forced into a second round with Ivaylo Kalfin - who won 26.8 % of the votes-, a former Foreign Minister from the opposition Socialist Party. Plevneliev's other main rival, independent Meglena Kuneva, a former EU commissioner, ranked third with 15.6 of the votes. Candidates from nationalist Ataka and the Blue Coalition (both traditionally supporters of GERB) Volen Siderov and Rumen Hristov respectively gain 4.0% and 2.3% of the voters, ranking 4th and 5th.
• The Bulgarian presidency is largely ceremonial, but is very respected and entitled to legislative veto power. The lead of Plevneliev strengthens power for his ruling GERB party, to push ahead with its agenda for painful economic reforms and Bulgaria's accession to the passport-free Schengen travel zone.
The Sofia Major election:
• The Sofia mayor elections have been widely regarded as a race with a relatively clear outcome from the very beginning not so much due to the popularity and public support for PM Borisov and the GERB party, but to the lack of real challengers from the opposition.
• In fact, Yordanka Fandakova, the candidate of ruling party GERB and PM Borisov, has been reelected as mayor of the capital Sofia by a wide margin (about 53% of the votes). Georgi Kadiev, the candidate of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, who has been seen as Fandakova's only serious competitor, remained second with 21.8% of the votes. Proshko Proshkov, the right-wing Blue Coalition candidate, garnered 12.3% and came in third.