Public approval of the Bulgarian Socialist Party government and the 42nd National Assembly, the country’s unicameral parliament, has dropped even further, according to a poll by the Exacta Research Group.
The results of the poll, released on February 18 2014, shows that the approval rating of the government formed in May 2013 has decreased by two per cent in the past two months to a current 25 per cent.
Over the same period, Parliament shed four per cent of its approval rating, dropping to 15 per cent.
The government formed after the 2013 national parliamentary elections with the mandate of the second-ranked BSP – which was given the chance to govern after the largest party, GERB, had no allies with which to form a coalition – has been the subject of continuing widely-supported public protests demanding its resignation.
According to the Exacta poll, the current government is most strongly approved of by supporters of the BSP (74 per cent of that party’s supporters) and by supporters of the ruling axis partner the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (70 per cent).
Plamen Oresharski, appointed in May to sit in the prime minister’s chair in the BSP government, has a disapproval rating of 60 per cent and an approval rating of 30 per cent.
The Bulgarian politician with the highest approval rating was Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova, now in her second term of office as the capital city’s first citizen and who on February 16 was named one of three deputy leaders of the centre-right GERB party. Fandukova had an approval rating of 51 per cent, Exacta said.
In second place was head of state President Rossen Plevneliev, with 43 per cent approval. Plevneliev became head of state in January 2012 after being elected on a GERB ticket.
In third place was Georgi Purvanov, with a 37 per cent approval rating. Purvanov, leader of the BSP before holding two terms as president between January 2002 and January 2012, and who failed in a bid to get back the BSP leadership, recently relaunched his ABC movement as an alternative to the BSP in Bulgaria’s May 25 2014 European Parliament elections.
The approval rating of Purvanov was four per cent lower than in December, with his disapproval rating having risen six per cent after the restart of the ABC movement. Purvanov’s current approval rating among BSP supporters was 55 per cent, Exacta said.
In fourth place was Boiko Borissov, with 34 per cent approval, having gained two per cent in January. Borissov had a 56 per cent disapproval rating. Borissov was prime minister of Bulgaria from 2009 to March 2013 and now leads GERB as the opposition party in the National Assembly.
Fifth was Ivailo Kalfin, an MEP and former foreign minister who is to head the European Parliament election candidate list of Purvanov’s ABC project. Among Bulgarians overall, Kalfin’s approval rating was 32 per cent and among supporters of the BSP, 56 per cent.
Oresharski was in sixth place in approval ratings with the 30 per cent noted above.
Seventh was Lilyana Pavlova, former regional development minister who had been on the verge of a cabinet promotion at the moment that Borissov announced in February 2013 the resignation of hiis government. Pavlova, currently sitting as a senior GERB MP, had 29 per cent approval and 40 per cent disapproval, according to Exacta.
The last three in the “top 10” all had about 25 per cent approval: Maya Manolova, a BSP MP; Tatyana Doncheva, a BSP veteran who has left the party and is an arch-critic of its current leadership; and Tsetska Tsacheva, who was speaker of the 41st National Assembly and now is a GERB frontbencher.
The poll, commissioned by local news agency Focus, was done between February 5 and 11 among a sample of 100 adult Bulgarians in interviews at their homes, in 86 cities, towns and villages in Bulgaria.
* Reports on February 17 quoted Oresharski, at a meeting with selected local reporters, as saying that he planned no changes to his cabinet because the ministers were all “excellent”.
* According to Exacta, were parliamentary elections held now, six parties would get a sufficient percentage of votes to enter Parliament. Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party had 21.7 per cent, the Bulgarian Socialist Party 19.2 per cent, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms six per cent, Georgi Purvanov’s ABC movement six per cent, Nikolai Barekov’s “Bulgaria without Censorship” party six per cent and the centre-right Reformist Bloc 5.6 per cent.
Ataka, currently in the 42nd National Assembly, would not return to a new parliament, with support of only 1.8 per cent.
The Exacta poll found that 25.6 per cent of Bulgarians would not vote were an election to be held now.
(Archive photo of a November 2013 anti-government protest: Noresharski.com)