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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' 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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs