Elections held in Bulgaria

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Elections were held in Bulgaria for the 240 members of the Assembly today. According to exit polls, the Leftist Coalition for Bulgaria has a lead with around 31%, but without majority, neccesating creation of coalitions. The National Movement for Simeon II which is currently ruling is in the second place, with around 21%. The third is Ethnic Turks of Bulgaria, with around 11%.

It is expected that the National Movement for Simeon II will attempt to form a coalition with one of the lower placed parties in order to outnumber the Leftists.

At least 6,000 candidates (from 22 parties) ran for election to the 240 member parilament. The turnout of 52% was record lowest. 4% of the votes are needed to gain a seat.

The opposition Leftist Coalition, headed by Bulgarian Socialist Party lead the election, but did not gain an outright majority. Sergei Stanishev, leader of the socialist party, stated he would attempt to form a governing coalition. "We won the confidence of the people ... We are ready to form a government ... and we will negotiate with any democratic party," Stanisheve said in a press conference.

In the last six free elections held since 1989, no government has been re-elected -- each has had to implement stringent economic and social reforms, since the fall of communism, and has lost popular support as a result.

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