Bulgaria’s 2023 mayoral elections: Vassil Terziev elected mayor of Sofia

We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria-Spasi Sofia candidate Vassil Terziev won the mayoral election in Bulgaria’s capital city of Sofia after receiving 48.2 per cent of the vote in the run-off on November 5, according to Central Election Commission (CEC) data.

With all votes counted, his opponent Vanya Grigorova, backed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and Levitsata, the left-wing grouping of BSP splinter parties, as well as a coalition of communist and Russophile extra-parliamentary parties, had 46.9 per cent.

The remaining 4.9 per cent of voters used the “I do not support anyone” option on their ballots.

Terziev’s win was the narrowest in the recent history of Sofia, as was his margin of victory of 4786 votes.

CEC data did not have full turnout figures – it is expected to do so later this week, when it announces final results. But its data showed turnout at 23.7 per cent as of 4pm on November 5, compared to 25.6 per cent at the same point in the election day in the first round a week earlier.

In brief remarks to assembled media on election night, Terziev thanked voters and election workers, but declined to say more until final results are made public.

He faces a difficult task in governing Sofia, however, as WCC-DB-Spasi Sofia won only 23 of 61 seats in the city council in the first round. Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF, which has an uneasy ‘non-coalition’ with WCC-DB at national level to back the Nikolai Denkov Cabinet, was second with 14 seats, while the coalition backing Grigorova came in third with nine.

On the afternoon of November 6, Grigorova refused to concede and said that she would challenge the outcome of the election in court.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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