Seven coalitions and 22 political parties will stand in Bulgaria’s ahead-of-term national parliamentary elections on October 5 2014.
This emerged as the deadline passed on August 20 for coalitions and parties to apply for registration to compete in the elections.
As has become customary in all recent elections, Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB – seen by pollsters as set to win the largest share of votes in October – was the first to lodge registration application documents.
Two other major parties, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), left it until the last day to register.
The BSP, with recently-elected new leader Mihail Mikov, is fielding a coalition “BSP-Left Bulgaria” (a title that sounds less ambiguous in the original Bulgarian but in English unintentionally hints at quite how troubled the party has been of late).
One indication of those troubles in a party that was in government from May 2013 to August 2014 in spite of its second place in last year’s parliamentary elections, and then was handed a resounding humiliation in May 2014 European Parliament elections, is a local revolt which saw the substitution of the preferred list leader in the Blagoevgrad region.
Party headquarters had pushed forward Kristian Vigenin, a member of the cabinet that resigned amid huge public disapproval, as number one on the BSP list in Blagoevgrad. Instead, the local structure replaced Vigenin’s name with that of Kornelia Ninova, one of the failed candidates in the recent BSP leadership election battle.
Also bringing up the rear among party registration applications on August 20 was Glas Naroden, an example of one of the no-hoper parties filling out the field on October 5.
The full list of coalitions and parties that have applied for registration is expected to be made public by the Central Election Commission on August 21.
The CEC noted that the number of parties competing in the 2014 elections was less than in previous recent elections.
In the May 2014 European Parliament elections in Bulgaria, 15 parties, six coalitions and six independent candidates competed. Five won seats, with no independent candidates winning a place.
In Bulgaria’s May 2013 national parliamentary elections, seven coalitions and 38 political parties took part. Four won seats in the National Assembly – and in all, 24.3 per cent of those voted cast their ballots for parties that won none of the 240 seats in Bulgaria’s Parliament.
In the October 2014 National Assembly elections, the Civil Registration and Administrative Services Directorate-General has until August 23 to verify the signatures in the coalition and party registration application forms.
Parties have until September 2 to formally submit their lists of candidate MPs.
On September 3, a draw will be held to decide the ballot numbers of the parties.
The official campaign period will begin on Sepember 5.