Bulgarians Overwhelmingly Want National Consensus – Poll
The large majority of Bulgarians, 90%, want national consensus, according to a recent poll.
The poll, titled "Political and Economic Index for January 2014," has been conducted by the Gallup International agency.
However, Bulgarians are split in half regarding key issues such as resignation of the Socialist-endorsed government, snap general elections and protests, with hardening stance of supporters of opposite opinions.
Though antigovernment protests have subsided in numbers, readiness for such remains relatively high – 25% say they would participate in such rallies.
The poll has been conducted between January 9 and 16 via direct interviews in the homes of 1 012 Bulgarians of voting age across the country.
Nearly 40% believe the protest must continue, while the same percentage is of the opposite opinion. 25% believe persisting protests will lead to the resignation of the government and snap elections; 50% are skeptical regarding such success.
Main institutions remain with low approval ratings – the office of the President and the government have about 30% each, while the Parliament has 14%.
67% of Bulgarians are pessimistic about the future of their country – a level that persists since the first wave of protests in February 2013.
Despite the overpowering desire in principle for consensus, only 28% agree that archenemies - Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the opposition centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB - must join forces and rule together which shows that political confrontations are persisting in society.
BSP leads GERB in voter support by 3%, however, the poll has been conducted before the announcement of former two-term President and former BSP leader, Georgi Parvanov, he is reviving his frozen ABV movement.
The liberal predominantly ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, keeps its stable base.
Other formations that have a chance to be in the next Parliament include the right-wing Reformist Bloc and the just-launched party Bulgaria without Censorship of former controversial TV host and director, Nikolay Barekov, while support for the far-right extremist nationalist Ataka is steadily declining, paving way for the other nationalist party - National Front for Salvation of Bulgaria (NFSB).
According to Gallup pollsters, about 2.5 million Bulgarians will cast a vote in the upcoming elections for European Parliament in May 2014.
They say it would be premature to make forecasts about the outcome of EP elections, but for the time being GERB and BSP are about even in the number of seats they would win. The other parties that could have MEPs remain the same as those in the national poll.
Bulgarians appear more comfortable now regarding the recent refugee wave – only 28% are firm the country should not accept any, while 50% say refugees should be helped as they are fleeing war.
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