Bulgaria’s Election Fever: Local Elections

Bulgaria’s Election Fever: Local Elections

Bulgaria’s Election Fever: Local Elections

On 27 October 2019, the Bulgarian citizens had to choose who is going to be in charge of their local municipalities. The elections took place in 28 districts in the country, and as the Central Electoral Commission stated, out of nearly six and a half million people, approximately three million practiced their right to vote.

Only in nine districts, however, candidates won the majority of people’s votes. The political party GERB, which is also a ruling party in the country with Boyko Borissov being its leader and the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, has gained the trust of people in the five out of nine districts.

In a large number of municipalities, a second round of elections was scheduled for 3 November. The reason for the planned second round of elections was that the candidates did not gain more than one-half of valid votes, which is required under Bulgarian Electoral Law. Among the districts in which the second round of elections was scheduled were Sofia, Varna and Plovdiv.

On the day of the second round of elections, the Central Electoral Commission reported that nearly two million voters supported their favorite candidates. According to Lora Indzova (2019), while some voters were highly active, for instance in Belene, others in bigger cities such as Plovdiv and Varna were not as much interested. On 4 November, the names of the winners, and the political parties they represent, were made clear. Candidates who represent the political party GERB became mayors of the cities of Sofia, Varna and Plovdiv.

However, the election-day and the second round of elections did not go so smoothly. The pressure between opposing political parties before and during the first and the second rounds of elections escalated. On numerous occasions, claims were made about violations of Electoral Law. In total, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mladen Marinov said that for the first and second rounds of elections, a total number of 1644 reports were made about the violation of Electoral Law. Also, according to the Prosecutor General, Sotir Tsatsarov, 65 investigations have been launched, four persons were arrested, and ten were accused of committing electoral frauds. Among the detained is one candidate for mayor of the coastal city Nessebar. In a similar vein, bTV, a Bulgarian privately-owned national television, has launched an investigation showing a scheme for manipulating the voting process in the city of Lom.

 

List of References

bTV Новините. (Oктомври 27, 2019). 65 Досъдебни Произовдства са Образувани. Извлечено от: https://btvnovinite.bg/mestnite2019/problemi/65-dosadebni-proizvodstva-sa-obrazuvani-za-izborni-prestaplenija.html

bTV Новините. (Октомври 27, 2019). Съмнения за Манипулация на Вота в Северозападна България. Извлечено от:

https://btvnovinite.bg/mestnite2019/samnenija-za-manipulacii-na-vota-v-severozapadna-balgarija.html?fbclid=IwAR1sprsAu6xpb7SKpsSLmv-u1FmYq-sitj9ki0SYxsxBEOw_oQsNdgWL_Kk

bTV Новините (Октомври 27, 2019). Оферта в Лом- Купуваш Гласове и си Избиваш Парите с Обществени Поръчки. Извлечено от:

https://btvnovinite.bg/mestnite2019/problemi/oferta-v-lom-kupuvash-glasove-i-si-izbivash-parite-s-obshtestveni-porachki.html?fbclid=IwAR2YQFjEvwqWzjDYn21kHlxAAMxUZhoCh1vhTg9l8H0Dgs3mkIFz91T_m9k

European Commission for Democracy Through Law. (2014). Election Code of Bulgaria Adopted on 5 March 2014. Retrieved from:

https://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/default.aspx?pdffile=CDL-REF(2014)025-e

Инджова, Л. (Ноември, 6, 2019). Окончателно:  42,10% Избирателна Активност на Балотажа. Извлечено от: https://tinyurl.com/re5llq4

Никодимов, И. (Октомври 23, 2019). Задържан е Кандидат за Кмет на Несебър. Извлечено от: http://news.bnt.bg/bg/a/povdignakha-obvineniya-na-zadrzhanite-za-kupuvane-na-glasove-v-nesebr

Централна Избирателна Комисия. (Октомври 27, 2019). Обобщена Активност на Гласуване за Страната. Извлечено от:

https://results.cik.bg/mi2019/tur1/aktivnost/index.html

Централна Избирателна Комисия. (Октомври 27, 2019). Обобщена Активност на Гласуване за Страната (Втори Тур). Извлечено от:

https://results.cik.bg/mi2019/tur2/aktivnost/index.html

 

Picture source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Bulgarian_local_elections#/media/File:Results_of_the_first_round_of_the_Bulgarian_local_elections_for_regional_mayors,_2019.png

E. Dimitrova

Eleonora Dimitrova was born and raised in Bulgaria and currently lives in the Netherlands where she obtained her B.A. in European Studies and M.Sc. in Political Science. Eleonora Dimitrova has a strong interest in the history and current political affairs in Central and South-Eastern Europe. An example of a topic that she has recently explored concerning those regions was related to the integration of ethnic minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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