Political Parties Do Not Disclose Their Presidential Candidates for Fear of Unleashing Smear CampaignDomestic | September 14, 2021, Tuesday // 11:26| views
President Rumen Radev announced, over the weekend, that the presidential election and the election for parliament would take place simultaneously – on 14 November. And even though there are just two months to go until them, the leading political players in the country are not disclosing the names of their candidates for president as yet. One explanation why they are still holding back are fears of unleashing a smear war.
What is clear at this time is that President Rumen Radev will be running for a second term of office, and that he is supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, “There Is Such a People” and by “Stand Up, BG! We Are Coming!”. He also received support, of a kind, from caretaker Minister of Economy Kiril Petkov who may take part in the early parliamentary elections with a political project of his own. The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), however, is not going to back Rumen Radev, after the President asked MRF leader Mustafa Karadayi which his ancestral home was. “We contributed to Rumen Radev’s election as president, now we shall modestly contribute to his not being re-elected,” MRF MP Jordan Tzonev said for BNT.
GERB party leader and former PM Boyko Borissov stated that the best plan for a new head of state was to nominate a joint rightist candidate.
“I do not think that Boyko Borissov will be GERB’s candidate for president,” GERB party MP Toma Bikov commented for the BNR. “GERB is going to nominate a candidate on the basis of their concept and their profile – someone capable of taking a central place in the political dialogue; of beginning to reinstate the role of the presidency as the kind of space where even the fiercest opponents can sit down at the same table and reach accord on cardinal issues; of taking the first steps leading to a way out of the political crisis.”
And one more important condition – GERB’s nomination for president must be able to unite everyone who will not be happy to see Rumen Radev win a second term as president. And though the party is not disclosing any names, Toma Bikov sowed the seeds of intrigue when he made mention of a possible nomination – that of former President from the Union of Democratic forces (SDS) currently GERB’s coalition partner Petar Stoyanov (1997 to 2002). “He is one of the positive figures of the past 30 years, he is the most successful President of Bulgaria, he pulled the country back from the brink of civil war, and it is thanks to him that it is now a member of the EU and of NATO,” Toma Bikov said.
The other political player who could challenge Rumen Radev as the only alternative for president, is the coalition “Democratic Bulgaria” which has been gaining support and, according to a recent poll, is now in second position in terms of public support. However, it is as yet unclear whether the coalition will nominate a candidate of its own, or whether it will choose to support some other candidate. In an interview for the BNR, “Democratic Bulgaria” MP Ivaylo Mirchev stated that a major setback for the coalition at these elections will be the cost, because of the four election campaigns within the space of one year.“For us it is going to be a major financial challenge because an election means money,” he adds. “And even though at the latest election for parliament we managed to garner considerable support, in this campaign it is going to be pretty hard. So, in the coming days the party’s collective bodies will decide who our presidential candidate will be, whether we are going to have one at all, and how to approach the campaign as such.”
And while the principal political forces are mulling over the best timing for announcing the names of their candidates, other small-time figures have come forward to state they will be running for president like Alexander Tomov from the tiny party “Bulgarian Social Democracy – Euro-left”, or journalist Tsveta Kirilova who is entering the presidential race with the ambition of bringing the prophecy by the clairvoyant Vanga to fruition – that a blonde woman will change Bulgaria – or MMA fighter and chair of the mixed martial arts federation Stanislav Nedkov aka Stucky.
Interviews by Horizont channel, BNR
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