Just Three Parties to Make It to Next Bulgarian Parliament - Survey

Domestic | January 25, 2011, Tuesday // 12:52|  views

An election poster of Bulgarian GERB party leader Boyko Borisov on a monument where it reads 'A man could live well but dies at the end and after him another one is born...' in the town of Dobrinishte some 180km from Sofia, Bulgaria. Photo by EPA/BGNES

No more than three parties - center-right GERB, Socialist BSP and ethnic Turkish DPS, are strong enough to enter Bulgaria's parliament if general elections were held today, says a survey.

The center-right party of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, which scored a landslide victory in the elections in the summer of 2009, will garner 30.9% of the votes, according to the poll.

It was conudcted by the SOVA 5 polling agency among 1000 respondents in the period from January 3-9, just as the spectre of early elections started to pop in and out of the war of words on the political battlefield, but before the wiretap scandal that shook the cabinet.

The Socialists are expected to come in second with barely 13.3%, followed by the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) at 6.9%.

The far-right Ataka, a firm ally of the current government, and the right-wing Blue Coalition, which has repeatedly criticized it for lack of expertise and dodging painful reforms, will not manage to pass the 4% threshold and will go by the board.

The center-right government of Boyko Borisov's party GERB now has 117 of a total of 240 seats in the unicameral chamber and governs with the support of Ataka, a fervently nationalist group, and the conservative Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) of former premier Ivan Kostov. These parties have no ministers in the government.

Nine months ahead of the presidential elections and with the pre-election campaign already in full swing, a total of 36% of the respondents in the survey said they are determined to cast a ballot. Another 33% say they are set to vote but have not yet picked their favorite runner.

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has expressed conviction that his party has among its ranks at least five likely nominees able to sweep the elections for the high, though largely ceremonial, office of president. He has even hinted to journalists that he might run for president, in which case he is likely to garner 33.3% of the votes.

If the ruling party GERB nominates Interior Minister Tsvetanov, as initially planned and despite the string of discrediting information revealed about him recently, he can reply on 22% of the votes.

Should Socialist leader Sergey Stanishev decide to run in the elections, he is likely to come in second with 9% of the votes.

Bulgaria nationalist leader Volen Siderov, who has voiced willingness to run again for the office, is expected to attract 4%, just as many as his arch enemy - the leader of the ethnic Turks Ahmed Dogan.

Even though Internet forums in Bulgaria are overflowing with calls for the highly popular Kristalina Georgieva, currently the EU's humanitarian aid commissioner, to run in next year's presidential elections, she does not feature in the poll.

Nor does it take into account the most disputed aspect of the vote - the prospect of former special agent of the State Agency for National Security (DANS) and controversial businessman, Aleksei Petrov, running in it.

Incumbent Socialist President Georgi Parvanov was re-elected for a second five-year term in 2006 and isn't eligible to run in next year's presidential elections.

Despite the mostly ceremonial duties of the post, the president can name figures to bodies like the secret service, the media watchdog and others to extend his influence.

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Tags: right-wing Blue Coalition, far-right Ataka, Aleksei Petrov, Socialist President Georgi Parvanov, Kristalina Georgieva, Interior Minister Tsvetanov, center-right, GERB, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, ethnic Turkish, Socialists, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Volen Siderov, early, general, presidential, elections, Buglarian, Bulgaria, Ahmed Dogan, Sergey Stanishev, Boyko Borisov, ethnic Turkish DPS, Socialist BSP, centre-right GERB, DPS


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