In the first 90 minutes after the announcement of exit poll results after Bulgaria’s October 27 local elections, it was left to opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party MP Kiril Dobrev to hand out the party line on the results.
BSP leader Kornelia Ninova, who earlier had said that she would not resign the party leadership irrespective of the outcome of the vote, had not yet spoken.
Dobrev essayed a bullish best, telling journalists that he was confident that the BSP was “returning to local goverment”.
“We have almost doubled the support for the party since 2015,” said Dobrev, who said that the BSP was heading to a run-off in 15 major cities.
“GERB’s iconic fortresses have cracked,” he said.
Dobrev emphasised that in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, for the first time since 2005, the vote was going to a second round.
In Sofia, incumbent mayor and GERB candidate Yordanka Fandukova is facing a runoff against Maya Manolova, the former national Ombudsman and former BSP MP, who however – going by exit polls – did not turn in the neck-and-neck challenge earlier predicted.
Dobrev urged a strong voter turnout, and emphasised the low voter turnout, which he said had strengthened the corporate-controlled vote and vote-buying.
He said that the fact that the BSP was now running for election in 15 major cities is “a clear sign that citizens want change”.