Dimitar Bechev: Bulgaria Presidential Vote Threatens to Shake Up Party System
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's proven skills as an accomplished political operator might fail him in the presidential election, Dimitar Bechev, Bulgarian researcher Dimitar Bechev has said.
In an analysis published by the London School of Economics' blog, he argues Borisov's party GERB "will have to adjust and share some of its power" after the vote which could end up with opposition candidate Rumen Radev "carrying the day by a small margin".
While the main ruling party's candidate "handpicked" by the Prime Minister was widely expected to make it comfortably to the second round, "to Borisov's chagrin, that now seems less and less likely."
While it is not quite the suspense of the US presidential contest, the Bulgarian race is "not lacking in drama either," Bechev argues, dubbing the election "a game of polls".
Borisov may have to turn to the United Patriots, who back Krasimir Karakachanov, a candidate benefiting from "creeping hysteria within Bulgaria over he influx of refugees and asylum seekers". However, some of the Patriots will defect to Maj Gen Rumen Radev, the socialist-backed candidate who is described as "pro-Russian in orientation" and "with a fondness for citing refugees as a top national security threat."
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), ethnic Turk-dominated and mainly representing the Turks and Muslims of Bulgaria, will "emerge as the kingmaker" of these elections as on many occasions in the past.
The text is available here.
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