Poll: Close to half of Bulgarians believe country headed to yet another election

A poll done for public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT) by the Alpha Research agency has found that 47 per cent of Bulgarians believe that the third and final attempt to get a government elected will fail and the country will head to early parliamentary elections.

The results of the poll were released on the evening of January 9, after the We Continue the Change (WCC) formally returned the mandate it had received to seek to form a government.

WCC, Parliament’s second-largest group, received the mandate on January 3, after Parliament’s largest group, GERB-UDF, failed in its bid to get a government elected.

The head of state now has a free choice as to which of the remaining parliamentary groups to offer the third and final mandate.

The Alpha Research poll found that, asked “who has the best chance of forming a government with the third mandate?” 23 per cent named the Democratic Bulgaria coalition, BNT reported.

Fifteen per cent said that the Bulgarian Socialist Party had the best chance, nine per cent said Stefan Yanev’s Bulgaria Ascending party, four per cent the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and two per cent Vuzrazhdane.

Alpha Research head Boryana Dimitrova, speaking to Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) on January 9, described the probability of a government being elected on the basis of the third mandate as “nil – it’s about 10 per cent”.

“Even before the first mandate was handed over, all the comments were about what would happen with the third mandate, as if the first and second were doomed,” Dimitrova told BNR.

She said that it was a pity that the chances of Parliament electing a government were nil “because in a situation of such unprecedented crises, for Bulgaria to be without a regular government for so long, speaks of a rather serious crisis of the political system”.

There was nothing in the behaviour of the political actors to suggest that a government could be formed, Dimitrova said.

Bulgaria held regular parliamentary elections in April 2021, which were followed by a failure to elect a government, resulting in early parliamentary elections in July 2021, again followed by a failure to elect a government. After the year’s third parliamentary elections, in November, a quadripartite coalition government was elected. That government fell after the desertion of a minority populist party. The current process of attempts to form a government is a sequel to the early parliamentary elections that were held on October 2 2022.

Should the third and last attempt fail, there would be the fifth parliamentary elections in three years in Bulgaria, which is due – in any case – to hold scheduled mayoral and municipal elections in autumn 2023, and scheduled European Parliament elections in summer 2024.

(Photo of the government headquarters in Dondukov Boulevard, Sofia: government.bg)

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