In the early parliamentary elections in Bulgaria, the pro-Western conservative opposition party GERB became the strongest party with around 25 percent of the votes, according to initial forecasts. The three parties of the last governing coalition lost their majority. It was initially unclear on Sunday which parties could form a new government together. Before the election, possible alliances had been ruled out and several parties accused each other of being corrupt. It was the fourth parliamentary election in around a year and a half in the poorest EU country.
According to the forecasts of several polling institutes, the bourgeois opposition party GERB led by long-time Prime Minister Boiko Borissov was in the lead. He was voted out in April 2021 after allegations of corruption. In second place, with almost 20 percent, was the last governing liberal PP ("We are continuing the change") of ex-Prime Minister Kiril Petkow.
Former coalition parties with 38 percent
According to the information, the three parties in Petkow's previous coalition government of PP, Socialists and the conservative-liberal-green alliance DB together accounted for around 38 percent. Between six and eight parties could move into parliament. Among them is the pro-Russian and nationalist Wasraschdane (Rebirth), who can count on around 11 percent of the vote.
Before the election, the PP ruled out a coalition with Borisov's GERB. She accused Borisov and his party of corruption. Under the motto "Let's finish our work", the PP wants to continue the fight against corruption. The GERB, which belongs to the European People's Party (EPP) in the EU Parliament, promised under the election slogan "Stronger than Chaos" to curb inflation, follow a NATO and EU course and introduce the euro in 2024. For the time being, it was still unclear which coalition partner GERB could find.
vote of no confidence in government
After just six months in office, the liberal-socialist coalition government led by the PP was overthrown by a vote of no confidence in June. Ex-Prime Minister Petkov saw Moscow behind the failure of his cabinet. Projects to combat corruption fell by the wayside. Until a new government is in place, a transitional cabinet appointed by Head of State Rumen Radew will continue to run official business.
During the election campaign, the concerns of around seven million Bulgarians revolved primarily around the effects of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and rising prices. Inflation was 17.7 percent in August compared to the same month last year. High energy prices make poorer people fear a cold winter. The problem of corruption tended to remain in the background. Measured by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, Bulgaria was the poorest country in the European Union last year.