Bulgaria’s 2019 local elections: Manolova camp to seek nullification of Sofia mayoral vote

The initiative committee that nominated Maya Manolova in the Sofia mayoral elections said after her second-round defeat that it would seek the nullification of the elections.

According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), with 100 per cent of voting records processed, GERB candidate and incumbent mayor Yordanka Fandukova won with 49.98 per cent of the vote, Manolova got 45.13 per cent, while 4.89 of those who went to the ballot boxes on November 3 voted “I don’t support anyone”.

Speaking to Bulgarian National Radio on November 4, Nikola Vaptsarov of the Manolova initiative committee said that it would seek nullification of the elections based “on our understanding” that the vote was manipulated.

Evidence of this was the errors in voting protocols, multiple allegations of vote-buying, and the breaking of the law, including by the media, regarding the ban on disclosing running results of exit polls while voting was still proceeding.

This latter factor had discouraged people from voting, Vaptsarov said, given that it had been claimed through the course of the day that Fandukova had a lead of 15 to 18 per cent points ahead of Manolova.

“We will try to prove our claim first in court and secondly to the public,” Vaptsarov said.

Speaking at a briefing on the night of November 3 after voting ended and official exit poll results were released, Manolova said that according to her campaign staff, citing a parallel vote count, the difference between her and Fandukova was less than three per cent.

“I did my best in a difficult, cruel and profane campaign. At no point did I respond with vandalism to the acts of vandalism, to the lies with lies and the aggression with aggression,” Manolova said.

“The support of people for me was more important to me than manipulation and the black campaign,” she said.

Speaking to Bulgarian National Television on November 4, CEC spokesperson Tanya Tsaneva said that any candidate could request a nullification of election results by going to court.

“The court can order the counting of the ballots again and if a violation is found then, yes, the election will be overturned.” This would be followed by new elections.



The Sofia Globe staff

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