Bulgaria's Deputy PM: Socialists Suffered Failure in Nuclear Referendum

January 27, 2013, Sunday // 09:20
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Deputy PM: Socialists Suffered Failure in Nuclear Referendum
Bulgarian Minister of Interior Tsvetan Tsvetanov. Photo by BGNES

All Bulgarian citizens have lost Sunday from the carrying out of a meaningless referendum, stated Vice-PM, Minister of Interior and ruling GERB party vice-chair Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Speaking at a press event after the poll, Tsvetanov argued that the inconclusive results of the vote constitute a failure for the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, which was instrumental in calling the referendum.

Some 22% of Bulgarians are estimated to have shown up at booths Sunday, with around 61% of them voting in support of building a new NPP, the position of the Socialists.

But the turnout means that the issue will only be referred to parliament, and is not binding for the goverment, which it would have been, if the number of voters was equal to that of last parliamentary elections.

"Counting all the abstentions, that means that the 'no' vote gathered 88% of Bulgarians, against only 12% for the 'yes' position," commented Tsvetanov.

According to the Interior Minister, this includes not only voters for the socialists, but also for the nationalist Ataka and VMRO parties, which also defended the 'yes' position.

"During the campaign, the Socialists consistently attempted to instill the view that they are experiencing a kind of revival with this referendum," added the GERB vice-chair.

"Now we have seen what the outcome is. You know that the real game comes with the July general elections," said Tsvetanov.

Bulgarian PM and GERB leader Boyko Borisov has also attempted to dismiss the importance of the referendum.

In the meanwhile, the Bulgarian Socialist Party has claimed victory to their side.

Sunday morning, Tsvetanov was among the first high-ranking Bulgarian politicians to cast a ballot at the referendum he later described as "meaningless."

An initiative committee supporting the 'yes' position for the referendum filed a claim for election violation against Tsvetanov, who allegedly broke the rule to abstain from campaign canvassing during election day with his comments after his vote.

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