Bulgaria’s 2019 local elections: Borissov sees ‘unprecedented victory’ over socialists

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, leader of the centre-right GERB party that is the majority partner in government, told journalists after the October 27 2019 local elections that he saw an “unprecedented victory” over the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party in the provisional results.

“This means stability in governance,” said Borissov, whose third government is in place with the support of a grouping of ultra-nationalist parties.

GERB failed to win first-round victories in capital city Sofia, in Plovdiv and in Rousse. It won a first-round victory in Bourgas, and in the fifth of the five large cities, Varna, final results would determine whether a second-round vote was needed.

In Sofia, for the first time since 2005, the mayoral election will go to a run-off, between incumbent mayor Yordanka Fandukova and socialist-backed challenger Maya Manolova, to be held on November 3.

Borissov told reporters that after the changes made to his GERB party, the results of the local elections vote were “more than good”.

He derided the BSP as a “very interesting party” because it wanted state subsidies, but did not put up a candidate in its own name. In Sofia, Manolova, a former BSP MP, stood as an independent.

Borissov said that there was a “lot of work to be done”. He would leave the election staffs to do their work where there were run-offs, “I have not interfered before,” he said.

“Everyone loves to talk about change, but the change comes from GERB,” Borissov said.

“We have made changes in the party, especially in Sofia, and they have yielded results,” he said.

Borissov said that there was no way that the absence of Tsvetan Tsvetanov was felt. Tsvetanov was closely associated with Borissov, and when Borissov was Sofia mayor and barred by law from leading a party, was formally the leader of GERB. Tsvetanov went on to head GERB’s campaign headquarters in a succession of elections, but fell amid controversy earlier in 2019, leaving Borissov as sole campaign leader in Bulgaria’s May 2019 European Parliament elections and again in the current local vote.

Borissov called on all right-wing formations to back Fandukova in the second round in Sofia’s mayoral elections next Sunday.



The Sofia Globe staff

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