The Bulgarian Parliament Elections have taken place and the preliminary results are in. For the third time in four years, Bulgarians have gone to the polls. The election was triggered by the resignation of the Prime Minister and the subsequent difficulties in forming a coalition government. Read all about the preliminary results and implications.
It is not just football that links Bulgaria and the Netherlands. Bulgaria too has just elected its parliament and similarly shown support for Europe. The polls are closed and the votes, for the most part, are in. 89.7% of votes have been counted with official results expected on Thursday. In the meantime, we can take a look at the preliminary results.
Bulgarian Parliament Elections: The Results
- GERB – 32.58%
Center-right, pro-EU party
- BSP – 26.80%
Successor of Communist Party, pro-Russian
- United Patriots – 9.2%
Union of Right-Wing, anti-immigration & Islam, Nationalist Parties
- Movement for Rights and Freedoms – 8.9%
Ethnic Turkish party, representing Muslim and Romani voters
- Will – 4.1%
A left-wing Populist party
89.7% of votes counted:
Further Relief for the EU – for Now
For many, this snap election has been Russian influence in the region and as something of a litmus test for EU support in the region. Bulgaria has close historical, economic and cultural ties with Russia, but has been a member of the European Union since 2007 and, crucially for Russian interest, a member of NATO since 2004.
Bulgaria remains the poorest state within the European Bloc. Pro-Russian, Nationalist and anti-EU parties have been criticising the lack of progress following their entry into the Union. The leader of the BSP, Kornelia Ninova, declared that she would attempt to veto any EU sanctions on Russia. While GERB will be obliged to seek help from smaller parties, for now, this is another victory for the EU.
Forming a Coalition
GERB are obliged to form a coalition in order to successfully lead a government. Whether they with find willing partners is another matter entirely. Prior to the election, it was not expected that any stable coalition would form. The smaller parties are in positions of power to decide who will run the government.
In the wake of Boyko Borisov’s resignation, GERB and other parties failed to re-form a government which led to this snap election. Government stability is a continued problem in Bulgaria and while this may be a victory for the pro-European bloc, it may turn out to be short term.
We will post updates on Bulgaria as the results are made official and whether a coalition government is indeed established.