Bulgarians Keep Waiting for Saviour Figure due to Socialism Legacy
What does Bulgaria look like on the threshold of the third parliamentary elections for this uear and a regular vote for president and vice president? What are the hopes for the formation of a stable majority capable of nominating a government? These issues continue to excite the public, but unlike the April and July elections, the November 14 vote will be overshadowed by rising inflation. This fact, as well as their implementation in a 2 in 1 format, makes the forecasts of electoral attitudes extremely difficult.
In a special interview for Radio Bulgaria, the political scientist and lecturer at the University of the Canadian capital Ottawa, Prof. Ivaylo Gruev, offers his observations on what is happening in Bulgaria, albeit from a distance of over 7,000 kilometres.
"I am afraid that the period of political turmoil will continue after the November 14 elections. Bulgaria is over 1,300 years old, we have gone through many bright centuries in which we have managed to build a strong statehood. Unfortunately, today I do not see the necessary foresight and political maturity in the Bulgarian political elite in its interaction with world power players such as Washington, Brussels, Moscow and Ankara."
Along with his skills to analyze the processes in the political reality, Prof. Gruev is well versed in the art of poetry. A testimony to that is his book The Fifth Seal where we find a verse in which the election campaign is likened to a holiday organized with a lot of money and people. The question of which of the contenders for the victory will be able to win it is still unanswered. For now, however, what is happening on the political field in Bulgaria is causing more embarrassment than understanding or approval by the political scientist:
"With their behaviour and their achievements, the scriptwriters of the 'There is such a people' party surpassed Woody Allen's undeniable talent. As for the new political formation around the former caretaker ministers Kiril Petkov and Asen Vassilev, the truth is that they are young, nice and educated. With their work in the last 4 months, they have made shown how they can fight corruption. However, I have serious doubts about the phrase “political project”. It seems to be coming down from above, not being "borne" by people protesting for change. It is namely being composed by the people who are dissatisfied with the current status quo that would turn it into a political project. Otherwise, it is like a joint stock company, whose mechanism is completely different. The second important point is related to the clarification of what integrity means - to what or whom it is aimed and how it will be achieved.”
Strategic issues for Bulgaria also await a position on the part of the two leaders of the new formation - what do they think about the Three Seas project, what is their attitude to the Istanbul Convention, the future of the coal-mining industry in the context of the Green Deal and how realistic is Bulgaria's entry in the Eurozone against the backdrop of a pandemic.
Whether the former caretaker ministers will follow the example of new players from the past, such as Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Boyko Borissov, and become loved by the people remains to be seen. However, we are certainly witnessing the same over-projection of hopes on the new political leaders that we saw with the rise of the king and General Rumen Radev.
As for the lessons for voters, they still seem unlearned because the search for the next saviour of the nation continues:
"I don't know if the reason for this phenomenon is due to the 500 years of Ottoman Domination that Bulgaria was subjected to, but it probably has something to do with it,” analyzes Prof. Ivaylo Gruev. "People's behaviour and attitudes towards their environment are also influenced by the expectation inherited from socialism that the state is obliged to take care of you."/BNR
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