Historic Number of Candidates Register for Bulgaria's Presidential Elections

Domestic | October 5, 2016, Wednesday // 08:41|  views

File photo, BGNES

As many as 24 pairs have registered with Bulgaria's Central Electoral Commission as candidates to run in the presidential elections in November.

The commission's spokesperson Tsvetozar Tomov has also told the Bulgarian National Television that one of the pairs may be barred from running, but has refrained from elaborating. Tomov has added the pair in question was nominated by an initiative committee.

On Tuesday at 17:00, the deadline for registration of candidates expired. The figure is a record number of candidates after the 18 pairs ran in the last presidential vote in 2011.

Three key candidates described as "left-wing" have entered the race, amid bitter divisions in the left-of-center political space. These are Maj Gen Rumen Radev, endorsed by the socialist party, former Labor Minister Ivaylo Kalfin (on the ticket of the 2002-2012 President's party ABV), and Movement 21 leader Tatyana Doncheva.

An unprecedented alliance of the two antagonistic nationalist entities, Ataka and the Patriotic Front, has led to the nomination of Krasimir Karakachanov, leader of VMRO party, as a joint presidential candidate.

To the right, the main ruling GERB party of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has nominated Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva, whom many polls saw as the winner (being Borisov's candidate) days before her name was announced.

The Reformist Bloc, the junior coalition partner of GERB, has nominated Traycho Traykov, a former Energy Minister in Borisov's previous cabinet.

Plamen Oresharski, the former Prime Minister under whose tenure the biggest anti-government demonstration began in 2013 over the appointment of controversial lawmaker and alleged media mogul Delyan Peevski to the national security agency, is also running.

His candidacy has fuelled speculation whether he is a secret nominee of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party, which was the coalition partner to BSP in the cabinet of Oresharski and of which Peevski is a member. Oresharski has registered as an endorsement of an initiative committee.

DPS has not registered its own candidate. Its main "rival", DOST, which is also an ethic Turk-dominated party, has also refrained from filing a candidate.

Some "exotic" candidacies have also been submitted, such as those of controversial businessman Mityo Pishtova and one-time pop-folk legend Rado Shisharkata.

Novinite will publish profiles of candidates endorsed by the main parties, along with some of the more surprising entries, throughout this and next week.

Svetlyo Vitkov, a current municipal councilor the candidate of his own Glas Naroden ("Vox populi") party and the Greens, is also running.

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Tags: Presidential elections, Central Electoral Committee


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