Is Ankara interfering with Bulgarian election?
Parliamentary elections will be held in Bulgaria on Sunday. Around 100,000 members of Bulgaria's Turkish minority now living in Turkey are entitled to vote. The minority parties Dost and the DSP are said to have close ties to the Turkish government and Ankara has often been accused of trying to influence voting in Bulgaria, prompting close scrutiny of the two parties' election campaigns by the press.
Shameful tactics to woo Bulgarians in Turkey
In a Turkish-language election campaign video the Dost party shows pictures from the communist times when the Bulgarian Muslims were driven out of the country. 24 Chasa is incensed:
“The video aims to remind our former compatriots of the time when they were driven out of the country in the last century. Archive images, accompanied by oriental-sounding music, awaken memories of the dark side of our nation's history. This video that was financed with party funds appeals to the Bulgarian minority in Turkey to vote for Dost. The expulsion of the Bulgarian Muslims is a wound that is easily reopened. Exploiting it for party and election campaign purposes is a shameful act.”
Don't worry about voters from Turkey
Bulgarian nationalists on Tuesday blocked the border to Turkey in protest at the Turkish minority parties, which they accuse of transporting voters with dual citizenship by bus to Bulgaria to secure their votes. Even if the accusations are true it would have little impact on the results, Offnews assures readers:
“At the Bulgarian polling stations in Turkey, roughly 40,000 to 80,000 eligible voters generally cast their ballots. And in the last elections it was only 30,000. That's less than one percent of the total vote. A bus has 50 seats. That means the one hundred buses expected to cross the border will contain 5,000 people, or less than 0.2 percent of all eligible voters. ... What impact can these 'bad' voters have on the final results, whether they come in buses or vote directly in Turkey? 1.2 percentage points? Two? Three, perhaps? The purchased votes in Bulgaria's Roma districts alone amount to three times that number.”