Bulgaria’s June 2024 elections: Denkov challenges Borissov to debate

Bulgaria’s former prime minister Nikolai Denkov of the We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria coalition has challenged GERB-UDF coalition leader Boiko Borissov – also a former prime minister – to a public debate on one of the major television stations, ahead of the country’s June 9 2024 elections.

This was a sequel to Borissov being angered by a WCC-DB election poster featuring Denkov, Borissov and Movement for Rights and Freedoms co-leader Delyan Peevski, with the words: “What kind of prime minister do you want?”

Borissov’s coalition complained to the Central Election Commission (CEC) about the poster, with the CEC ruling that it should be taken down because it violated election law against negative campaigning by amounting to a call not to vote for Borissov or Peevski.

WCC-DB is to appeal the CEC ruling in court, on the grounds that the Commission’s ruling unlawfully violates the right to free expression.

In a video on Facebook, Denkov expressed bewilderment that Borissov was offended, and extended an invitation to debate “so that no one is angry”.

“The purpose of the poster is to provoke people to think about the choice they have to make on June 9,” Denkov said.

“Both of us have been prime ministers, and we are both now candidates. Let’s go through the topics that interest people,” he said.

Denkov expressed readiness to discuss everything – income, infrastructure and international challenges facing Bulgaria.

Borissov last took part in a televised leaders’ election debate in 2009, when he faced off against Sergey Stanishev, then the leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and prime minister. In that election, GERB went on to defeat the BSP.

Bulgarians go to the polls in two elections on June 9 – early National Assembly elections, and regular European Parliament elections.

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