Party of Bulgarian Social Democrats

Published 27th September, 2011

The Party of Bulgarian Social Democrats or PBSD was founded in 1989, initially as the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party (BSDP), but can trace its history back to the BSDP of 1891. It describes itself as centre left and believes in Social Democracy.

In their first electoral outing, the PBSD decided to join the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) and fought the 1990 election under that banner, taking 29 of the 144 seats the alliance gained that year. However, the PBSD quickly fell out with the SDS and decided to stand in the 1991 elections as an SDS splinter group but failed to gain any seats.

By 1994 the PBSD had formed a coalition which stood in the elections as the Democratic Alternative for the Republic which again failed to reach the 4% threshold required to win any seats.

In 1995 the party was looking once more at re-joining with the SDS and in 1997 they were part of the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) led United Democratic Forces (ODS) grouping. The election was a huge success, with the ODS taking 137 of the 240 seats in the National Assembly.

However, there were now internal arguments about the direction of the government and the party which led to a pro-SDS and an anti-SDS faction. The pro faction joined the SDS. The anti faction remained on and joined the centre left Coalition for Bulgaria which was led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and which fought the 2001 general election winning just 48 seats.

The Coalition for Bulgaria did better in 2005, taking 82 seats and forming a government with two other parties. However, it did not last and in 2009 the Coalition for Bulgaria was reduced to just 40 seats and 17.7% of the vote.

In the 2013 general election the Coalition for Bulgaria did better, winning 84 seats of which the PBSD holds one seat in the National Assembly.

The Party of Bulgarian Social Democrats is a member of Socialist International and the Party of European Socialists.

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