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A Quick Guide to Bulgarian Politics
December 06th 2016 12:12 pm

A Quick Guide to Bulgarian Politics

Bulgaria is a truly fascinating country. You will enjoy your first trip to Bulgaria, but unfortunately, not much is known about it. What do you know about Bulgarian politics? Precious little, one would imagine. This guide is to get you up to speed with the latest in Bulgarian politics.

Meanwhile, are you looking for the best Irish hotel in Bulgaria? You couldn’t go wrong with the Clara Hotel in Sarafovo, which is just a short distance away from the Bourgas International Airport.

Okay, the first thing you should know about Bulgarian politics is that it’s very messy, but fortunately, it’s all very peaceful. You don’t have the sort of violent protests or demonstrations here as in Egypt or Turkey. Bulgaria is one of the most peaceful and stable countries in the world.

There was a Presidential election in Bulgaria recently, which was won by the Socialist party leader Rumen Radev, who is known to be friendly to Russia.  This has prompted the current Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, who belongs to a centre-right party, to promise to resign.

Radev’s win was made possible because of the wide discontent that exists in the country on the centre-right party’s failure at fighting corruption. There is also a lot of disappointment over how the European Union has treated Bulgaria. Many Bulgarians feel that the EU has not given their country the respect it deserves.

There’s also a feeling that the current government has been alienating Russia, which is a traditional ally of Bulgaria. Radev is a former air force commander and he is clear about maintaining an excellent relationship with Russia, but not at the cost of ties with the European Union. He has also been very pragmatic about holding on to Bulgaria’s NATO membership.

Radev beat the ruling party’s candidate for presidency Tsetska Tsacheva quite easily in the elections held in November, 2016. He won 58% of the vote, to his opponent’s 35% - a very comfortable margin. The problem was that the ruling party’s candidate did not have any of the charisma possessed by Radev.

 Speaking to reporters after the election, Prime Minister Borisov said, “The loss of GERB is definite and clear. In this election, the people showed us that something is not as it should be. That our priorities may be good, but obviously there are better ones. So the most democratic thing, the right thing to do is to (resign).”  

His resignation could well result in an early national election in March 2017, with all political grouping fighting to form the next government.

Radev, on the other hand, was jubilant and thanked the people of Bulgaria for their support. Speaking to the press after his win, he said, “We listened (to the voters’) concerns. We said that we will work for Bulgarian national interests, that’s what gave us broad support.”

He added that he expected the conflict between the United States and Russia to be resolved with the election of Donald Trump as the new President of the USA.

Radev said, “In his election campaign (Donald Trump), already elected, said clearly that he will work for a better dialogue with Russia. That gives us hope, a big hope, for a peaceful solution to the conflicts both in Syria and in Ukraine and for a decrease of the confrontation.”  

Bulgarian politics, much like American and British politics, is at a fascinating stage right now. You may want to pay more attention!


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