Bulgaria's Presidential Election: Who Backs Whom

Domestic | November 13, 2016, Sunday // 08:30|  views

File photo, BGNES

As Bulgarians are heading to the polls on Sunday, they will vote for President based on what they saw and heard in five weeks of campaigning.

Support from parties and candidates who fared well in the election's first round, however, may also play a part in this decision as some of these have endorsed or indicated preference for either of the candidates.

Tsetska Tsacheva, the candidate of Bulgaria's main ruling and conservative GERB party, can count on support from the Reformist Bloc, the junior coalition partner in Bulgaria's government, businessman Veselin Mareshki who surprisingly came fourth, and a new ethnic Turk-dominated party DOST which got much of the vote among thousands of expats in Turkey.

Rumen Radev, backed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) is expected to have support from voters of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), the third-largest political party in Bulgaria known for its disciplined voters whose unpopular candidate Oresharski got more than six percent of the vote in the first round.

He has also been endorsed by Georgi Kadiev, a former socialist MP who was once influential among the electorate but whose new Normal State party has not yet run in elections.

ABV, a splinter party which drained a number of BSP cadres in 2014, has refused to back Radev, even though he had been discussed as a possible joint nomination of the two parties back in August. ABV's candidate, Ivaylo Kalfin, got just 3.28% of the vote on November 06.

The vote in Turkey is expected to be a tight and crucial race as a long-standing principle that the DPS' voters are decisive to elect the next President is challenged by DOST's success among Turkey-based expats.

However, the key may lie with the nationalist electorate, which secured the third place to candidate Krasimir Karakachanov in the first round with more than 15% of the vote.

Karakachanov has repeatedly refused to back either of the candidates, saying he would not play the "shepherd" to instruct people how to vote.

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Tags: Presidential elections, Tsetska Tsacheva, Rumen Radev, DPS, DOST, BSP, GERB, ABV, Krasimir Karakachanov, Veselin Mareshki


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