The leader of the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), Kornelia Ninova, said on November 4 that the outcome of the local elections shows that Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party is eroding in local government.
“The change has started, it was difficult, but already is irreversible,” Ninova told her first news conference after the second and final round of the local elections.
At the first round of mayoral elections on October 27, there were decisive victories in nine cities that are capitals of districts. Of these, GERB won eight and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms one.
At the second round on November 3, in 18 cities, GERB won nine, the BSP four and five were won by candidates backed by local coalitions or initiative committees.
In Sofia, Maya Manolova, who stood as an independent on a ticket backed by the BSP and was defeated at the second round by GERB’s Yordanka Fandukova, is to challenge the outcome in court.
Ninova told the news conference that the BSP would politically support Manolova if she insisted on seeking the nullification of the elections in Bulgaria’s capital city.
Ninova said that there was reason to doubt the result in Shoumen, where at the second round the GERB candidate won by 77 votes.
“The BSP has reaffirmed the trend of the past of the past three years to improve its results in all elections – presidential, parliamentary, European and these,” Ninova said.
She said that GERB had retreated in long-standing stronghold cities.
“We have accomplished the task we have set ourselves – to double our mayors and increase our municipal councillors. We returned to the local government at the first round. At the second round, we consolidated and increased that participation.,” she said.
At the news conference, Ninova was accompanied by the mayors-elect of Rousse, Razgrad, Pernik and Blagoevgrad, who had stood either on BSP tickets or a ticket backed by the party, and had defeated the GERB candidate.