Quarter of DPS Voters in Bulgaria 'Would Vote for DOST Party' - Poll
A quarter of traditional supporters of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party would vote for the new party of the former DPS leader, DOST, a Gallup International Bulgaria poll shows.
At the same time, only two percent of all respondents (regardless of political preference) replied "Yes" when asked whether they would vote for DOST, with 92% answering "No" ad only 6% either not replying or sayign they did not know.
Negative attitudes to the DPS have not changed significantly, according to the survey that was carried out between January and March, with "around 1000" respondents.
Gallup's poll was published shortly after DOST was officially founded in Sofia over the weekend. The abbreviation, which stands for "Democrats for Unity, Solidarity and Tolerance", spells and sounds like a word for "friend" in Turkish.
Lyutvi Mestan announced he was launching a new political project less than two months after being expelled as leader and DPS member, following criticism from honorary chair Ahmed Dogan who accused him of siding with Turkey in its spat with Moscow over the downing of a Russian warplane in November.
Since Mestan's ouster, the DPS has accused him of willing to launch an "Islamist" political party and have downplayed his chances of taking electorate away.
In January, 58 percent of respondents, when asked whether the dismissal of Mestan was "a good thing for Bulgaria", replied with "yes", while 11% answered "No", and 31% either replied "I don't know" or gave no answer.
Asked whether Dogan defended Bulgaria's interests, an overwhelming majority if 64% replied "No" (15% "Yes", 21% "I don't know/No answer").
However, a breakdown based on electoral preferences shows DPS sympathizers predominantly believe Dogan works for Bulgaria's interest, Gallup says, without giving numbers.
Respondents are divided over whether Dogan protects the interests of Russia. Asked whether they agreed, 46% either said they didn't know or gave no answer, while 38% replied "Disagree" and 16% "Agree".
As many as 60%, when asked if the DPS is "more acceptable" without Mestan, said "No" (14% "Yes", 26% "I don't know/No answer").
Attitudes toward Mestan himself are not more positive, with 64% agreeing that Mestan protects the interests of Turkey (9% disagree, 27% "I don't know/No answer").
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