Ballot papers in Bulgaria’s October 27 local elections offered the option of ticking the box “I don’t support anyone” and thousands of voters took up the offer.
This was the case even in the country’s big five cities, where electorates could choose from incumbent mayors and would-be mayors from a range of political parties, from the established to the obscure.
In four of the big cities, no candidate won a decisive majority and voters are being invited back to the ballot booths on November 3 to decide between the two who got the largest shares of votes at the first round.
In Bourgas, where GERB’s Dimitar Nikolov won a first round victory, defeating 10 other candidate mayors, a total of 2269 voters ticked “I don’t support anyone” – 3.11 per cent of those who voted.
Varna, where there were 11 candidate mayors, scored the highest percentage of voters who took the a-plague-on-all-your-houses choice: 4928 voters, about 4.88 per cent.
In Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, “I don’t support anyone” – even though there were 20 mayoral candidates to choose from – was the preference of 10 088 voters, about 2.32 per cent.
In Rousse, with 11 candidates vying for the mayor’s chair, 2173 voters sent a message that they wanted none of them, about 3.96 per cent of those who voted.
In Plovdiv, faced with a choice of 14 candidates, 3357 voters, about 3.05 per cent, chose “I don’t support anyone”.
On October 29, Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission issued a reminder that, in terms of the Electoral Code, votes cast for “I don’t support anyone” do not count in the final result calculations.
Merely, presumably, a sense of satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, and a message sent.