Parliamentary elections in Bulgaria: populists are ahead

In Bulgaria’s second parliamentary election in three months, current forecasts suggest that the populist party of entertainer Slavi Trifonov will win. This puts the ITN just ahead of the party of ex-Prime Minister Boiko Borissow. The system-critical ITN (“There is such a people”), which was only founded in 2020, received 23,4 to 24 percent of the vote on Sunday, according to estimates by two opinion research institutes. Borissows GERB would therefore come to 22,9 to 23,5 percent. If the forecasts are confirmed, it would be Borissov's GERB's first election defeat since 2009.

The first predictions after the election had initially identified a wafer-thin lead for Borisov. In the meantime, it looked like a head-to-head race between the two parties. The polling stations are closed at 20 p.m. on Sunday evening. The official final results should only be available within four days.

“The support ITN received is amazing,” writes the entertainer Trifonow on Facebook. The 54-year-old did not run this election himself. He wants to announce his specific plans on Monday. His party does not belong to any political family in the EU Parliament. The ITN challenges the “political status quo” with the election slogan “It's time for something different”. Among other things, she wants to introduce majority voting and drastically reduce state aid for the parties.

Six political forces are likely to move into the parliament in Sofia. “There is such a people” is dependent on coalition partners in the people's assembly with 240 parliamentarians in order to govern. Two other so-called protest parties would come into question - the conservative-liberal-green anti-corruption coalition Democratic Bulgaria DB and the small party “Stand up! Mafiosi out! ".

The parties were unable to agree on a coalition government after the last election

Borisov's former coalition government came under massive criticism after the current interim government uncovered numerous grievances, corruption practices and failures. Corruption is a protracted problem for Bulgaria: Since joining the EU in 2007, the country has been under special observation from Brussels. The parties of the anti-Borisov camp accuse the long-time prime minister of corrupt administration and exclude a coalition with his GERB party. They are therefore counting on votes for the parties that campaign for the fight against corruption and the reform of the judiciary.

The new election had become necessary because the divided parties could not agree on a coalition government after the April 4th vote. An interim cabinet made up of representatives of the anti-GERB camp, set up by the head of state Rumen Radew, currently governs Sofia.

After the parliamentary elections in April, the formation of a government in Bulgaria's fragmented parliament failed. Borrisow's conservative GERB emerged as the strongest force in the election despite allegations of corruption. But she had not been able to find a majority in parliament. The populist anti-establishment party ITN came in second and the socialists, the third strongest, failed in their attempts to form a government. Even after this election, forming a new government could be complicated.