Bulgaria's Problem with Opportunists by Any Other Name
Bulgaria's right-wing Blue Coalition, an entity comprising the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) and the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB), is no more.
The breakup of the Coalition set up in 2009 was announced Tuesday, together with the resignation of UDF Chair Martin Dimitrov.
The failure of the Blue Coalition Co-Chairs to negotiate the entity's participation in the general elections in 2013 means that the spin-offs may not overcome the 4% barrier to enter Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), which is gearing up for a national congress, is torn by the rivalry between the two contenders for the leadership post – the incumbent – former Prime Minister and President of the Party of European Socialists Sergey Stanishev and former two-term President Georgi Parvanov.
On Tuesday, Stanishev declined Parvanov's invitation to seek common ground so as to prevent splintering ahead of the 2013 parliamentary elections.
"What exactly is there to talk about," Stanishev inquired in a media appearance.
Parvanov and Stanishev have made extensive use of the media in their image war.
What's wrong about this situation is that Bulgarian voters, who can still find it in themselves to go to the polls, are hearing nothing about left- or right-wing ideas about the development of the country.
All that is offered to the electorate is unabashed intra-party bickering about "who's the man".
The battles seem tough, because "in the end, there can be only one" - Bulgaria has proved to be a breeding ground for one-man parties exclusively.
Question is, how does Stanishev vs Parvanov or Dimitrov vs Kostov attract voters?
The infighting only highlights the painful conclusion that parties exist to benefit the top figures and to serve their interests, while the common people are left to survive as best as they can or go to hell, which is a favorite and highly contagious mantra of confirmed non-voters.
How does a democracy exist, not to mention thrive, amid a growing pool of confirmed non-voters?