Bulgarian presidential election 2021

Article

November 30, 2021

The Bulgarian presidential election of 2021 (in Bulgarian: Президентски избори в България 2021) takes place on November 14 and 21, 2021 in order to elect for five years the president and the vice-president of the Republic of Bulgaria. Legislative elections are organized at the same time as the first round. Outgoing president Roumen Radev narrowly misses re-election in the first round. He therefore finds himself in a waiver with Anastas Guerdjikov in the second round. Unsurprisingly, he largely won the second round with nearly two-thirds of the votes.

Context

The presidential election of November 2016 is won by Roumen Radev. An independent candidate nominated by the Socialist Party (BSP), Radev won in the second round against Tsetska Tsatcheva, candidate of Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), the party of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The new president highlights in particular his determination to fight corruption, which is particularly widespread in the country, his firm posture against the migration crisis in Europe and his desire to achieve the cancellation of EU economic sanctions. against Russia. Directly questioned, Borissov resigned, paving the way for several months of attempts to form a new coalition. However, these proved unsuccessful, and the main Bulgarian parties agreed on the need for new elections. The general elections organized in March 2017 saw the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) take the lead with 32.65% of the vote and 95 seats out of 240. This good result allows Boïko Borissov to retain the office of Prime Minister Minister, at the head of a GERB-Patriotes united coalition. A scandal affecting important personalities within the government as well as the GERB however broke out in March 2019. The investigative newspaper Bivol.bg, in partnership with Radio Free Europe and the NGO “Anti corruption fund” indeed reveals that Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB vice-president considered Borisov's right-hand man, bought a high-end apartment at a discounted price of more than a quarter of its real value. Suspicions of corruption quickly took shape, as the scandal spread to several high-ranking members of the GERB, including the Ministers of Justice, Sports, Energy and Culture; all having bought these cheap housing from the same company, Artex Engineering. The attorney general's office and the national anti-corruption commission are opening investigations, while all the personalities concerned resign from their posts. The scandal is a blow to the Borisov government, whose perception becomes marred by an aura of widespread corruption. The popularity of the ruling party drops to 13%, and that of the prime minister to 28%. In July and August 2020, Borisov was confronted with major anti-government demonstrations which augured early elections, but the Prime Minister remained in place until the legislative elections of April 2021. The election saw the coalition remain in the lead. led by the outgoing Prime Minister's GERB party. However, the latter observed a clear decline which weakened Borisov, whose nationalist allies, who presented themselves divided, lost all representation in the National Assembly. Conversely, new parties emerging from the anti-government protest are entering it, including the party There is such a people (ITN) of singer and television presenter Slavi Trifonov - one of the most virulent critics of Borissov - as well as the Debout! Mafia out! whose leader Maya Manolova says she wants to "kick the mafia out of government and public finances." The rise of

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