A new anti-corruption center led by two 40-year-old businessmen is the winner of yesterday’s elections in Bulgaria, the third election of the year, which took place amid the deadly wave of the epidemic that is plaguing the country.
According to opinion polls, the Let ‘s Continue Change faction came as a surprise, securing 26% of the vote, beating former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov’ s conservative Gerb party (23%), which polls put in first place.
Official results are expected within the day.
As a result, the field will now be free for Kirill Petkov and Asen Vassilev, who launched a campaign for power in September after captivating the Bulgarians with his actions in the caretaker government.
“Bulgaria is taking a new path,” said Kirill Petkov, who appeared smiling at photographers and cameras. “We will do everything possible to form a normal government.”
After the failure of the two previous electoral contests, in April and then in July 2021, in the absence of an agreement between the parties, will the duo succeed in a mission whose difficulties they both admit?
Deadly wave of the epidemic, low vaccination rate
In the polling stations, voters’ sentiments ranged from resignation to restrained optimism.
“I hope we will finally have a new government for a better life,” said a 73-year-old Bulgarian woman who voted in a suburb of Sofia.
But there are many voters who did not move to the polls: turnout was just 40%.
All political actors have declared that the way out of the unprecedented impasse since the fall of the communist regime is their common goal.
Among the issues that need to be addressed immediately is the health crisis, because the caretaker government appears unable to manage the deteriorating situation.
Hospitals are full of Covid cases and about 200 people die every day in Bulgaria, where less than 25% of the 6.9 million people have been fully vaccinated.
The mortality rate is among the highest in the world. The state of the health system also contributes to this. Three patients died at the hospital fire over the weekend.
Boyko Borisov, who resigned in April after a decade in power, denounces the “chaos” that could continue.
The two newcomers to “Let’s Keep Changing” are “very enthusiastic” but inexperienced, said Boriana Dimitrova, director of the Alpha Research Institute, who predicted the formation of an “unstable” coalition government due to the opposition. .
Kirill Petkov and Asen Vasilev, who met at Harvard, are at odds with the Bulgarian political landscape.
Their goal is “the elimination of corruption” in a country that is last in the ranking of the European Union.
They say they are ready for “compromises” and “very open to dialogue” to form a coalition.
“Left, center or right, it matters little,” said Kirill Petkov, the prime ministerial candidate. “If we can stop ‘corruption’ and redistribute money for the good of taxpayers, then we should be able to agree with many parties.”
“They have the ability to build bridges between the right and the left,” said Ivailo Dicev of Sofia University.
Fight against corruption
But the voices of “change” are not enough. According to experts, the two will need to ally with the PSB Socialists (about 11% of the vote), whose image has been tarnished by their disastrous transition from power in the 1990s.
In parallel with the parliamentary elections, Bulgarians also voted yesterday for the election of the country’s president.
Rumen Radev, the outgoing president and re-candidate, leads the first round with 49% of the vote, compared to 24% for the rector of Sofia University, Anastas Gertzhikov, who is backed by Gerb.
Rumen Radev, an enemy of Boyko Borisov, hailed the election results as a sign that “society wants to break the cycle of corruption and arbitrariness.”
“Parliamentary parties now have the imperative task of forming an anti-corruption and pro-social reform reform government,” he said.
Source From: Capital