The Bulgarian Socialist Party is so far the biggest spender on media exposure ahead of the October 5 2014 early parliamentary elections, while commercial television station so far is the biggest earner.
At least, that is as much as may be gleaned with not all media complying with Bulgaria’s election law requirements about disclosure of contracts with political parties and coalitions standing in an election.
Bulgarian NGO the Institute for Public Environment Development is monitoring the websites of 40 Bulgarian-language media: six electronic and print, four radio stations, 15 newspapers and 15 news sites and agencies.
The institute released interim results of its monitoring as of September 19, a follow-up to its first round on September 10.
Of the 40 media being monitored, only 22 have published information about their contracts with participants in Bulgaria’s October 2014 early parliamentary elections. The NGO added that while Focus News and Radio Focus had uploaded contracts, these were in “completely unreadable” photo format, making it impossible to report the amounts for which they were concluded.
The coalition standing as Bulgarian Socialist Party-Left Bulgaria has invested 512 711 leva (about 256 000 euro), followed by its apparently now-estranged former ruling axis partner the Movement for Rights and Freedoms at 506 271 leva.
In third place in spending on media exposure – such as advertising and paid-for coverage – is Nikolai Barekov’s populist Bulgaria Without Censorship at 384 662 leva. Behind Barekov is Volen Siderov’s far-right ultra-nationalist Ataka, at 226 855 leva in adspend.
Coming in fourth is the party seen by pollsters as likely to win the most votes on October 5: Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB, at 141 591 leva.
In fifth place is Georgi Purvanov’s ABC (130 814 leva), followed by the ultra-nationalist Patriotic Front (103 766 leva), the Reformist Bloc (103 581 leva), Republika BG (62 259 leva) and Tatyana Doncheva’s Movement 21 (21 159).
These are the top 10 spenders of the 18 parties and seven coalitions standing in the October elections – as far as can be surmised, given the incomplete information.
The NGO found that only eight of the 25 registered parties and coalitions had declared donations received. Of these, in top three places were Purvanov’s ABC (138 363 leva), Ataka (16 870 leva) and BSP-Left Bulgaria with 11 620 leva.
Among the media, the top five earners are bTV (516 265 leva), Nova Televizia (393 617 leva), dailies Trud and 24 Chassa (318 279 leva), Darik (214 720 leva) and Bulgarian National Television (178 341 leva).