Bulgarians will head to the polls today to vote in a general election. The vote follows months of anti-government protests,
Bulgarians will head to the polls today to vote in a general election.
The vote follows months of anti-government protests, stalled political reforms and a surge in COVID-19 cases. Bulgaria’s Western partners have criticised the government for its failure to address long-standing problems pertaining to corruption and deficiencies in rule of law and media freedom. Failure to address these concerns, combined with COVID-19-induced lockdowns, has also adversely affected employment and economic growth.
Despite these difficulties, expect Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and his governing centre-right GERB party to remain in power. The PM’s party leads the Socialist Party-led opposition bloc in most opinion polls by about five percentage points. Moreover, an expected low turnout due to virus concerns is likely to serve as a boon for Borissov despite widespread discontent.
In the medium-to-long-term, continued failure to control COVID-19 and address demonstrator concerns will not bear well for Borissov and his party. The fragmented parliament likely to result from today’s vote will signal a power struggle to come, as voters begin to reject GERB anti-corruption and economic recovery policies that have yet to produce tangible reforms.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.