Bulgarian Pollsters at War over Controversial Results
A scandal has flared among Bulgarian pollsters over recently published results, giving a huge lead to the centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, against the left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP.
The data was released Thursday by the MBMD agency of sociology expert, Mira Radeva.
According to it, if the general elections were to be held now, GERB would receive 30% of the vote, while BSP would have 16%.
This is a stark discrepancy with other recent polls of a number of Bulgarian sociology agencies, showing the two major parties are running neck to neck.
Radeva says her data has been confirmed by two independent polls, which MBMD has conducted on the order of "Americans and French," but refused to name the latter.
This prompted nearly all other Bulgarian pollsters to unite against her.
In an appearance before bTV Friday, Kolio Kolev, from the Mediana agency, clashed with Radeva, saying her data was of the type – "a woman said" – and informed from now on, Bulgarian sociology experts would ignore her and would never appear with her in the same broadcast.
He labeled the MBMD results a "lie," firmly refuting the possibility Americans and French have been "secretly" involved.
"I am ready to make available all basic information and all filled poll questionnaires. As a professional, I know that when there are such startling discrepancies, we must compare the methodology, to see where the mistake is. Maybe I made mistake," Radeva said.
A few other sociologists, however, have said that in such tumultuous times, people's electoral preferences were prone to change quickly.
Meanwhile, political expert, Tatyana Burudzhieva, who is going to run on the BSP ballot, refuted rumors the MBMD poll has been ordered by the US Embassy in Sofia.
She informed that in response to an official inquiry, the Embassy has stated they have requested a poll, but without questions on Bulgarians' voting inclinations. The diplomatic mission has further explained the US orders polls across the globe, but they focus on questions that would paint a better picture about bilateral partnership.
On February 21, Bulgaria's Parliament approved the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's GERB government amidst unprecedented since 1997 protest rallies against sky-high utility bills, monopolies, stagnation, corruption and wide-spread poverty, which later turned into a civil unrest and political demands.
Snap general election is to be held May 12, just two months ahead of the regular date in July.
President, Rosen Plevneliev, named the caretaker government on March 12.
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