Bulgaria election: low turnout and no clear winner

In Bulgaria's second parliamentary election in three months, the anti-establishment populist ITN party led by TV presenter Slavi Trifonov, which was founded just last year, and the conservative Gerb party of former prime minister Boyko Borisov are neck-and-neck in exit polls. The final results are expected at the end of the week. What is already clear, however, is that voter turnout has dropped from 50 percent in April to less than 40 percent now. Why?

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Dnevnik (BG) /

Voters would prefer to keep interim government

Iliyan Vasilev, energy expert and former ambassador to Russia, is not surprised by the comparatively low voter turnout of around 40 per cent. He writes in Denvnik:

“The parties were unable to sufficiently motivate the voters. The reason given for this was that more than 100,000 people were on holiday and therefore did not vote, but I have a different explanation: [in the general election] in April, the mood was heated. Afterwards, the interim government [which took over affairs of state when no coalition could be formed] calmed the situation. Many voters liked the interim ministers and would have voted for them, but they weren't up for election.”

News.bg (BG) /

How legitimate is the new parliament?

The new elections will hardly have calmed and stabilised the situation as hoped, fears news.bg:

“Regardless of the final election results, which will be announced in the coming days, the new parliament will inevitably face a problem of legitimacy. Voter turnout has dropped by ten percent in just three months. Whatever the reasons, there is no doubt that the new parliament has less legitimacy than the previous one. As a result, the next government is unlikely to be either stable or lasting.”