The Presidential Debate Radev vs Gerdjikov: Highlights and Messages
Bulgarian National Television broadcasted the only debate between Bulgaria's presidential candidates, Rumen Radev and Anastas Gerdjikov. The candidates debated for an hour and a half about the future of our country over the next 5 years.
They discussed the topics of politics, coronavirus, prices in our country, the green deal, national security and how our country will continue to be represented on the map of Europe. Here are the main highlights of the discussion:
The formation of a regular cabinet
Rumen Radev said that the parties that will seek the formation of a new parliamentary majority should do so around clear principles and visions, and Anastas Gerdjikov said that he also defended this approach in contrast to Radev's approach "to divide, and not to unite the nation ".
Radev denied standing behind the party of Kiril Petkov and Asen Vassilev, saying he was not involved in political engineering.
Changes in the Constitution
Rumen Radev stated that he has a draft for amendments to the Constitution ready and specified that it envisages expansion of civil rights. Anastas Gerdjikov described as extremely worrying the fact that his opponent has not yet presented the project in question.
THE HEALTH CRISIS
Rumen Radev said that the measures taken by the caretaker government are already yielding results and that Bulgaria is at the forefront of the decline in newly infected with covid, and the children have also returned to school. According to Anastas Gerdjikov, the introduction of the green certificate is a form of coercion and said that the last 6 months have been missed to control the pandemic.
There is no need to speculate on inflation, as it is a record in all countries, said Rumen Radev. The caretaker government has made the largest compensation for the price of electricity for businesses - BGN 110.
According to Anastas Gerdjikov, the curve for the price of gas and energy starts in January and has increased two to three times by September. Gerdjikov said that we could have received the necessary funds for compensation earlier if the Recovery and Sustainability Plan had not been delayed.
Three main highlights were discussed in the segment - Russia, relations with the Republic of North Macedonia and preparations for a new wave of refugees.
As for Russia, according to Rumen Radev, Crimea is Russian, EU sanctions against Moscow are not yielding the desired result, and Bulgaria must seek a pragmatic foreign policy position. According to Anastas Gerdjikov, Crimea is Ukrainian and sanctions must be maintained
They both agree that the Republic of North Macedonia must strictly implement the Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighborliness and that our south-western neighbor is not ready to start EU accession talks at the moment.
With regard to refugees, according to Radev, Bulgaria should seek pan-European measures to protect the EU's external borders, and according to Gerdjikov, the actions of the caretaker government a few hours ago with allegations of Turkish interference in the election process in our country are destructive on this topic.
Regarding the tensions in the Black Sea, Radev said that de-escalation measures should be implemented there, and according to Gerdjikov, Bulgaria should strictly fulfill its commitments as a NATO member.
THE FINAL MESSAGES OF THE TWO CANDIDATES
"I thank all those who have supported us so far. I hope they will support us in the future so that we can get out of the crisis and unite around a new national ideal. I wish to be the president of Bulgaria who does not overshadow the New Year to the people with gloomy speeches, not to wave a finger, not to be angry with anyone, so that we see the Bulgarians smiling and happy ".
"For a decade in Bulgaria, money has been buying consciences. Money is buying impunity, money is buying votes. There are days in the years when we all have a chance to have an equal share in choosing the future of the homeland. This day is November 21. Dear compatriots, come out and vote to close the page of the dictatorship and get Bulgaria back! "
Watch the debate here (in Bulgarian).
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