News / Europe

Bulgaria Vote Seen Unlikely to Deliver Government, Solve Crisis

A supporter of the Bulgarian Socialist Party holds a balloon during an election rally at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 9, 2013.A supporter of the Bulgarian Socialist Party holds a balloon during an election rally at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 9, 2013.
x
A supporter of the Bulgarian Socialist Party holds a balloon during an election rally at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 9, 2013.
A supporter of the Bulgarian Socialist Party holds a balloon during an election rally at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 9, 2013.
Reuters
Bulgaria's two biggest parties look unlikely to win a majority in Sunday's election and neither looks capable of forming a coalition, prolonging a power vacuum in the EU's poorest member that would shake the economy and stir unrest.

Tens of thousands took to the streets in February to protest against corruption, rising unemployment and high utility bills in February, forcing Prime Minister Boiko Borisov and his GERB party to resign in favor of a caretaker government.

Demonstrations are planned for polling day.

GERB's commitment to tight fiscal policy, which supports confidence in a currency peg to the euro, would reassure investors but would enrage already volatile public sentiment.

Bulgaria lags the rest of the bloc that it joined in 2007 and its struggles show the risk of fraying democracy and vulnerable economies in fringe members as the euro zone focuses on its own financial crisis.

Business in Bulgaria also remains unhappy over deep-rooted graft that it says means many public tenders are fixed, and creates over extensive bureaucracy and unpredictable decision making.

“Both parties do not deliver on pre-election pledges and so do not follow their programs," said Bozhidar Danev, chairman of the top business organization BIA.

“Politicians are liars," he said.

No majority

Borisov has ruled out any coalition deal, but has previously worked with Attack, the main beneficiary of the protests with about five percent support, on an unofficial basis, although its anti-EU, Roma and Turkish rhetoric limits its appeal as a partner.

He also could try to bring onside the right-wing pro-business Bulgaria for the Citizens, led by former EU commissioner Meglena Kuneva, along with Attack to create an alliance with more than 120 seats in the 240 member parliament.

The Socialists, for their part, have promised to create 250,000 jobs, bring unemployment down from an eight-year high, and cut taxes for low earners as well as keeping debt low. They have failed to convince voters beyond their core support.

They previously have worked with a smaller party, the ethnic Turkish MRF, but the two together may still fall short of a majority and also may be vying for Kuneva's backing.

“After the elections we will meet with all parties that have entered the parliament, without GERB," Socialist leader Sergei Stains told newspaper Trud.

A poll on Thursday by the private Sova Harris agency put Borisov's center-right GERB at 20.9 percent and the Socialists on 20.4 percent, while pollsters Center of Analysis and Marketing put GERB at 21.3 percent and the Socialists at 18.9 percent.

At least 43 percent support is needed for a majority.

A previous Sova Harris poll, conducted in December, had GERB on 26 percent and the Socialists on 21 percent. The state funded NPOC last month put GERB at 23.6 and the Socialists at 17.7 percent. GERB's fortunes started to fade after a wire tapping scandal that has implicated one of its senior members.

“The results from the poll and the political realities suggest that a ruling coalition will have to be formed by at least three parties," said pollster Yuliy Pavlov, with the Center of Analysis and Marketing.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
May 10, 2013 12:51 PM
It is very sad to see the continued difficulties of Bulgaria; they are good people, most are hardworking, and it is unfortunate that they can't get a unity gvmt, that will better their economy. The communist regime, that preceeded the democratic movement, has had dire consequences and negative effects on the gvmt culture; these same type of bureaucratic/ corrupt/ letargy, has lasting negative effects, and can still be seen in other ex-communist countries.

Unfortunately, political corruption is seen around the world, to different degrees of refinement. Bulgaria has a great potential to develop economically, it has many beautiful sites/attributes, starting with tourism along its coastlines, and even inland historical sites. I hope the people do get a progressive gvmt. which will open up the country to investments and create jobs..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs