Bulgaria’s Presidential Elections: Only Two Candidates For Now
Two months before the presidential election in Bulgaria, only one pair of candidates has been announced, and most parties will announce candidates at the last minute, if any.
Rumen Radev (president) and Iliana Yotova (vice-president), who announced that they will run for a second term at the beginning of the year and have the support of BSP again, will be supported by two more of the parliamentary formations - "There Is Such a People" and "Stand up.BG! We are coming!" So far, neither GERB is presenting a candidate, nor the other two main formations - "Democratic Bulgaria" and DPS, are in a hurry to announce their intentions for the presidential vote. And in recent weeks there has been more discussion about its date.
The consensus among parties in parliament for the first round of the presidential election is November 7th and 14th. It is possible that they will be together with the early parliamentary elections, which will be the third for the year. This will depend on Rumen Radev's decision on when to dissolve the 46th National Assembly, as in the event of an expected failure, BSP will return the third term by September 10-15.
However, according to MPs, the parliamentary elections may coincide with the second round of the presidential elections, which will have to be on November 21 at the latest.
Who will be the other candidates?
"Smart, tall, handsome and with hair." Thus, in July, GERB leader Boyko Borissov described the party's candidate for president, and when asked if he would have glasses, he added: "Yes, he can wave and put on glasses - to do like Dani Mitov - to show erudition, knowledge of languages.” According to unofficial information, however, GERB Deputy Chairman Daniel Mitov cannot be a presidential candidate, as he does not meet the requirement to have lived in Bulgaria for the last 5 years.
A few days after Borissov's statement on his Facebook account, former GERB MP Georgi Markov announced: "Only Petar Stoyanov can beat Rumen Radev." The party did not comment on whether this option is being discussed.
"We will announce a candidate for president when we are ready," GERB told Dnevnik. And in 2016 the candidacy of Tsetska Tsacheva was announced at the last moment - on October 2, given that the first round was on November 6.
DPS told Dnevnik that there was still no decision from the party leadership. Deputies from other formations do not allow support for Rumen Radev after the arguments with Mustafa Karadayi about the "motherland", so it will be interesting whether the movement will nominate its own candidate for head of state or will support another.
For the time being, Democratic Bulgaria is only discussing options, including admitting no presidential candidate, as they unofficially state that it would be difficult to run two campaigns in a 2-in-1 election.
Former Nova TV reporter and chairwoman of the Azbukari Association, Tsveta Kirilova, announced on her own that she would run for head of state and made a televised appearance this week with which she provoked Vanga-type speculations and forecasts.
What will the parties do?
Rumen Radev and Iliana Yotova will most likely again be candidates for president and vice president of an initiative committee supported by various parties. For now, The Bulgarian Socialist Party promises support, "There Is Such a People" and "Stand up. BG! We are coming!” as well. Slavi Trifonov's party declared its support after failing to fulfill the first term for government, and the leader announced that his support was such, as if he had nominated Radev. This move was not unequivocally assessed by analysts - what it will mean for the campaign.
"If the elections are 2 in 1, the numbers in the ballot will not match and we will have to explain well who we support," said an MP from the smallest formation, SPBGWC. According to the Socialists, it does not matter whether the elections will be in one day or not, the campaign will certainly be 2 in 1. At "Positano" 20 they hope to be able to increase their voters alongside the presidential candidate couple.
There are opinions that if the elections are 2 in 1, even if the coincidence is in the second round of the vote for head of state, this will increase the turnout. In the parliamentary elections on July 11, turnout was at a record low of 42.19%. This did not matter in determining the outcome of the vote, but it called into question the representation in parliament.
From GERB, "Democratic Bulgaria" and "Stand up. BG! We are coming!" they say they have not yet discussed the presidential election campaign. All three formations say they are currently focused on the outcome of the third term and will only then focus on the presidential election.
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