Boyko Borisov’s party won in Bulgaria, but the road to the government is complicated – BBC News in Serbian

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Bojko Borisov

Preliminary results from Bulgaria’s parliamentary election show former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov’s conservative GERB party won the most votes, but analysts say it is unlikely to lead the country out of its worst period of political instability since the fall of communism.

According to projections and exit polls in Sunday’s elections, GERB won between 23 and 25 percent of the vote.

This is the fourth parliamentary election in Bulgaria in the last 18 months, and GERB promised in the campaign to restore stability to a country hit by inflation and the consequences of the economic crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

However, the 63-year-old political veteran Borisov, who has served as prime minister on three occasions, will face the difficult task of finding a coalition partner for the new government, according to Reuters.

Second place behind GERB with 19 to 20 percent of the votes was won by the centrist party We continue the change, led by the recent Prime Minister Kiril Petkov.

While in the previous elections in November 2021, most parties cited the fight against corruption as a priority, this year the political contests were focused on the economic problems of the population.

Bulgaria, the poorest country in the European Union, is struggling with an annual inflation rate of nearly 20 percent.

The elections on Sunday were also marked by a lack of political enthusiasm, and by 4 p.m. only 25 percent of voters had voted.

“Lesser Evil”

The Balkan country has been struggling with political instability since the beginning of last year, when GERB lost power after mass protests against corruption.

Kiril Petkov, Boyko Borisov’s rival, appealed to voters to allow his government to continue the fight against corruption.

This businessman, who graduated from the American Harvard, stepped onto the Bulgarian political scene with a bang in 2021, but his government lasted only seven months before it was voted no-confidence in the assembly.

“The situation is the same as after the last election, and maybe even more complicated,” said Danijel Smilov from the Center for Liberal Strategies in a statement for BTV television.

“Coalitions that were possible last time are no longer possible,” he added, alluding to Petkov’s split with former allies.

His government raised pensions in the previous period, Petkov also said that his goal is to increase the average salary in Bulgaria, which is now around 870 euros.

On Sunday, he conceded defeat in the election, saying that “the voters gave GERB a mandate to form a government.”

Petkov repeated his promise that he would not enter into a coalition with Boyko Borisov’s party and pointed out that he would raise a question for every lev spent.

Borisov presented himself to the voters as a “politician with the most experience”, and he constantly stressed the importance of membership in the EU and NATO.

“We need an experienced man in these difficult times,” 62-year-old Bogomil Gruev from Sofia told Reuters after the vote.

“We can blame Bojko for some things, but he is the lesser evil”.

Rada Mincheva, a 47-year-old nurse, praised Borisov’s ability to maneuver between Western and Russian interests.

“War is very close to us, it is better not to provoke anyone,” she stated.

Izolovani Borisov

Borisov said he was open to talks with anyone about forming a government because of stability amid the war in Ukraine and people’s fear of rising inflation.

“It is important for us that reason prevails,” he said earlier on Sunday.

“Believe me, right now I am the most benevolent and open person towards all parties.

However, New Bulgarian University analyst Antoni Todorov was skeptical about the chances of GERB being in a position to form a stable coalition.

“I don’t believe that GERB, which is very isolated, could return to power,” Todorov said.

Prolonged political instability has left Bulgaria struggling with reforms and hindering economic growth.

Borisov’s options for coalition partners appear to be limited to the Turkish minority party, which is predicted to have won around 15 percent of the vote, and two pro-Russian parties.

It is predicted that those two parties, Revival and Bulgarian Progress, will win a total of around 15 percent of the votes.

Although a member of the EU and NATO, Bulgaria has strong historical, cultural and economic ties with Russia.


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Source: Dnevni list Danas by www.danas.rs.

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