Bulgaria’s 2019 local elections: Fandukova seeks fourth term as Sofia mayor

Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova confirmed on September 2 that she would seek a fourth term in office in Bulgaria’s autumn 2019 local elections.

Fandukova, a deputy leader of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party, has been mayor of Sofia since November 2009.

“I have made my decision to stand for a new term,” Fandukova told journalists while inspecting progress on Sofia’s third metro line. “Sofia has been changing over the past 10 years, not because of fairy tales but because of work,” she said.

She said that not standing for a further term would be a betrayal of the citizens for whom she had been working for the past 10 years.

Fandukova promised new ideas and a new team, and said that she was in excellent shape.

Initally Education Minister in Borissov’s first Cabinet, she was GERB’s candidate to succeed Borissov as Sofia mayor when he quit the post to become head of government.

Prior to her brief spell in the National Assembly and then the Cabinet, Fandukova, a former high school director, had since 2005 been Borissov’s deputy mayor in charge of culture and education.

Fandukova was re-elected mayor of Sofia in regular municipal elections in 2011 and 2015.

In October 2019, Fandukova will become the longest-serving mayor in the history of Sofia.

Bulgaria is holding regular local elections on October 27 2019. Where results are not decisive at the first round, a second round will be held on November 3.

While Fandukova previously has won decisive victories in Sofia mayoral elections, in 2019 some factors have changed.

Tsvetan Tsvetanov, long the organiser of GERB structures and victories in a succession of elections, no longer heads the party’s election staff.

Further, Fandukova has been targeted for criticism over the handling of renovation projects in public spaces and streets in the Bulgarian capital city.

Bulgarian media reports said that an announcement was expected on September 2 whether national Ombudsman Maya Manolova would stand as a mayoral candidate in Sofia. Formerly a Bulgarian Socialist Party MP and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Manolova’s handling of the office of Ombudsman has built her popularity nationally.

There will be competition for votes in the centre-right and reformist spectrum in Sofia in the autumn 2019 elections.

The reformist Democratic Bulgaria has announced that architect Borislav Ivanov will be its Sofia mayoral candidate. The Spasi Sofia (“Save Sofia”) group, a consistent critic of infrastructure and renovation projects in the Bulgarian capital city, is nominating business administration and economics graduate Boris Bonev.



The Sofia Globe staff

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