Bulgaria

Close result expected in general election today


Published

A general election is being held today a year early after Prime Minister Boyko Borisov resigned following the failure of his GERB party’s presidential candidate, Tsetska Tsacheva, to win the presidential election in November last year. Since Borisov’s resignation attempts to form a new government have failed which has led to the early election. An interim Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdjikov was appointed on the resignation of Borisov being accepted by parliament.

There are 240 seats in the National Assembly with members elected through an open list proportional representation system across 31 multi-member constituencies. Just over 6.8 million voters are eligible to choose from around 4,000 candidates from 13 parties and nine coalitions. Voting takes place at 12,294 polling stations in Bulgaria and a further 371 polling stations in 70 countries worldwide. Polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.

One of the last polls published by Exacta Research Group and published on the Bulgarian News Agency site suggests that six parties will gain representation in the next parliament.

Borisov’s centre-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) is on 32.1% support, slightly down on the 2014 result. The main opposition centre-left Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) is on 28.1%, up considerably on their 15.4% in 2014. Other parties expected to get seats are the recently formed right-wing coalition of three parties called United Patriots who are on 10.5% support; the centre-left Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) on 7.6%; Volya, a populist party led by businessman Veselin Mareshki which is on 6.5% and the centre-right Reformist Bloc – People’s Voice (an alliance of six parties) which is on 4%. There is a 4% threshold for representation in the National Assembly.

If the opinion polls are accurate then the most likely scenario is a coalition between GERB, the Union of Patriots and possibly Volya. But much will depend on which of the main parties is most open to bargaining with the smaller parties.

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