Bulgaria Socialists Want Annulment of Local Election Results over Vote Buying
The elections were won by the candidate of Sofia Mayor Borisov's party GERB, Ivan Antonov, who received 6 303 votes. The independent candidate supported by the BSP, Petar Antonov, got 4 350 votes.
According to the Socialist representatives, the violations which took place during the elections in Rakovski on Saturday were unprecedented in their number and arrogance. They have accused GERB activists of vote buying especially among the Roma minority, using municipal officials and institutions to support their candidate by granting social security benefits to local residents.
During the election day on Saturday, the Local Electoral Commission and the local Police Department received ten signals of violations such as vote buying and pressure on voters but the respective authorities said the claims were not supported by any material evidence.
The signals came from the staffs of both candidates for the Mayor position so both GERB and the BSP accused the other side of the same violations.
The BSP leader in the Plovdiv District, where the town of Rakovski is located, Petar Mutafchiev, who is also Bulgaria's acting Minister of Transport, said Sunday that the alleged brutal vote buying in Rakovski was an indicator of how Sofia Mayor Boyko Borisov's party was going to act during the coming elections for members of the national and European Parliament.
"We have a video footage showing how GERB activists are giving out food products to voters, and a mass fight which breaks out after there are not enough products for everyone. I am going to send this footage together with a martenitsa to Wilfried Martens (the President of the European People's Party of which GERB is a member), who recently declared his support for GERB, in order to show him how they do elections in Bulgaria", Minister Mutafchiev told BGNES news agency.
About 43%, or 10 996 of the total of 23 339 eligible voters in the Rakovski Municipality cast their votes on Saturday.
The local elections in Rakovski had to take place after the last Mayor, Franz Kokov, died of cancer on October 24, 2008, at the age of 45 while serving his third term.
Kokov was elected in 1999 and 2003 with the support of the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS). In 2007, he was elected for his third term with the support of GERB and former Tsar and PM Simeon Saxe-Coburg's party, NMSP. He was the only Catholic Mayor of a Municipality in Bulgaria.
The town of Rakovski is located 142 km southeast of Bulgaria's capital Sofia, and right outside of the city of Plovdiv. The town has a population of over 16 000 people, and the Municipality of Rakovski has a population of 29 000 people.
The town of Rakovski is historically a center of Bulgarian Catholics.
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Sergey has a brilliant political future in Russia maybe. As politicians and connivers go, he is the pick of the litter. He will go far, just not in Bulgaria. Bulgarians are a stubborn and harsh people and they don't go in for hot air balloons like the Americans do. Bulgarians can read a man between the lines. You can fool a Bulgarian once - shame on you. You can't fool a Bulgarian twice.
This is quite obviously a case of vote buying. How DARE these GERB buffoons insult the intelligence by claiming more Bulgarians voted for them than the BSP. It's simply outrageous, and the sooner the Darjavna Sigornost catch up with these people and beat some sense into them the better for all of us living in the glorious Peoples Republic.
Vote buying? I don't buy it. Sure, I can take a sandwich or a cookie form a campaign volunteer, but that doesn't mean I will vote for his party when I get into the voting booth. Nothing can make me vote for someone other than the candidate of my choice. I am sure it is the same in Bulgaria, where the people are stubborn. I think the socialists are just being sore losers.