Despite a year of protests for his resignation and the worst performance against the pandemic in the European Union, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boico Borisov started at the front to secure his fourth term as head of government in his country.
Its center-right citizens for European Development in Bulgaria (Gerb) lost their participation in the 2017 elections, but won the largest share of votes in Sunday’s parliamentary elections (4), according to a Word poll from a ballot box from the Alpha Institute. . Le Gerbe appears with 25.7% of the vote (against 32.7% in 2017), according to the survey.
Nicknamed “Batman of the Balkans” because he prefers black clothes and his background as a firefighter, police instructor, bodyguard and owner of a security company, Borisov, 61, became Prime Minister for the first time in 2009.
Since last year, opponents and protesters have accused him on the streets of handing the country over to private oligarchs – Bulgaria has been classified by the NGO Transparency International as the most corrupt country in the EU .
The poorest member of the European Union, Bulgaria has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and has the highest death rate per confirmed case of Covid-19 in the bloc – per 100 people infected, around 4 died – and the lowest number of deaths, vaccines applied – 8.2 doses per 100 inhabitants.
The exact number of seats for each party will be known throughout the week – the electoral commission has until 8 to disclose the official result and until 11 to announce the elected officials – but it is already certain that Borisov will have to attract d ‘other acronyms to obtain the 121 seats (out of 240) in the Assembly needed to form the government.
The ultranationalist VMRO party, Borisov’s ally in the last government, appears with 4% of the vote, the minimum necessary to be able to occupy seats in the Assembly. Failure to overcome this obstacle can hamper the current prime minister’s plans or push him into more unstable coalitions.
If this fails, the task will pass to the second, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, heir to the Soviet-era Communist Party and Gerb’s main rival. According to the survey, the PSB obtained 17.6% of the vote.
The main surprise of the elections was the vote of populist Este Povo exists (ITN), a new party starring musician and TV presenter Slavi Trifonov. The ballot box gives the ITN more than 15% of the vote – two percentage points more than it had recorded in the pre-election polls.
If the result is confirmed, it will open a clear advantage to consolidate itself as the third political force in the country, ahead of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), which represents the Turkish and Muslim minority in Bulgaria and appears with 11% in polls.
For analysts, the TV host capitalized on anti-government and anti-system sentiment, but his lack of political experience makes it difficult to predict whether he could join one of the two main traditional parties to form a government. .
Bulgaria appears alongside Poland and Hungary as countries of “concern” in the European Commission reports on the rule of law – in particular in areas such as corruption, freedom of the press, freedoms. civil rights and the independence of the judiciary.
Borisov, however, has escaped the spotlight usually directed at Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and politicians from the right-wing Law and Justice party, which rules Poland. Among other reasons, it is because Borisov avoids aggressive and illiberal speeches, such as anti-immigration from Orbán or anti-LGBT in Poland.
In addition, analysts point to significant differences in the degree of control and state ownership in the three countries.
“Hungary is already an autocracy, while Bulgaria is not yet. In Bulgaria, there is competition between criminal groups for power, but none are able to override the others, ”said former Hungarian Education Minister Bálint Magyar, who is researching the So-called mafia states, after the main wave of demonstrations in Sofia, in 2020.
Another reason for the success of Borisov’s shielding in the EU is that Gerb is part of the main bloc of the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP), to which also the Prime Minister’s CDU (Christian Democratic Union) belongs to Germany, Angela Merkel.
Despite this, MEPs adopted a resolution in October rejecting “the significant deterioration in respect for the principles of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights”, “the continued lack of high-level investigations into corruption with tangible results ”and“ the serious deterioration of media freedom ”.
While this has no practical implications, it was a first political step in pressuring the European Union to stop transferring funds from the bloc to governments accused of violating democratic rules. .
One of the main accusations made by the protesters against Borisov is that he is using European Union money for the benefit of the Bulgarian oligarchs.