Bulgaria: Victory for anti-corruption party

The anti-graft party We Continue the Change, which was only founded in September, has won Bulgaria's third parliamentary election in 2021 with around 25 percent of the vote. Its leading candidate Kiril Petkov made a name for himself as economy minister in the caretaker government with his crackdown on corruption. Commentators see clear signs of change.

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e-vestnik (BG) /

Bulgarians taking their fate into their own hands

The big winner of the election is Bulgarian civil society, comments e-vestnik:

“Despite decades of actively and systematically suppressing civil society, parliamentarism and the rule of law, the oligarchy parties DPS [the party of the Turkish minority] and Gerb have not managed to destroy the cornerstones of civil society. ... Civil society has not only resisted [the government of Boyko Borisov] in the last decade, but has consolidated, grown and is now determined to take the fate of Bulgaria into its own hands through its elected representatives.”

Deutsche Welle (BG) /

Another election would be suicide for the parties

The Bulgarian service of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle hopes that a lasting government will be formed this time round:

“Another round of elections in the first months of next year cannot be ruled out. But it is much less likely than after the past two elections in the summer. Not so much because of the result of the last election, but because of the self-preservation instinct of the elected parties, which should set in now at the latest. For them, not listening to public expectations for a governing coalition this time would be suicidal.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Borisov system a thing of the past

Der Standard sees the result as a blessing for the rule of law in Bulgaria:

“In the latest attempt last Sunday, Bulgarian voters have finally put together a parliament that will not only be able to find majorities to form a government but also tackle the urgently needed reforms in the justice and health sectors. ... In the era of Boyko Borisov, the rich and influential were able to live a life of luxury beyond all laws, while tens of thousands of Bulgarians left their country in frustration. The Borisov system is now a thing of the past. ... The intelligence, knowledge and integrity of the likely new prime minister Kiril Petkov are a first reason to hope that Bulgaria can become a constitutional state and a functioning democracy after all.”

Der Tagesspiegel (DE) /

A new dawn in Eastern Europe?

Der Tagesspiegel detects a new trend that started in the Czech Republic:

“There, too, the previous prime minister Andrej Babiš has had to step down - for the same two reasons as Borissov in Bulgaria: voters are turning away from him - also because of his shady business dealings. And his behaviour towards other political forces has made him so many enemies that no one wants to form a coalition with him. Is this trend also affecting Hungary and Poland?”