Monday 6th of July 2020, 06:56 CET
Socialists win local elections Bulgaria
October 27, 2003
RFE/RL South Eastern Europe

Posted by HW on July 6, 2020

BSP wins third of seats
The opposition Socialist Party (BSP) and its coalition partners won about one-third of the seats in the 26 October municipal elections, reported, citing an exit poll conducted by the Bulgarian branch of the Gallup International opinion research institute.

SDS: 20%
Elections were held for 236 of the country's 237 municipal councils. The conservative opposition Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) fared second best, winning about 20 percent of the seats.

Loss for Simeon
As expected, the governing National Movement Simeon II (NDSV) received only 10 percent of the seats, while its coalition partner, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) had a similar result. The small Union of Liberal Democrats (SSD) took up to 6 percent of the seats, while a total of 3-4 percent went to the coalition of Gergyovden, the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union (BZNS-NS), and the Democratic Party. First analyses suggest that the BSP received 10 percent more votes compared to the 1999 elections, while the SDS lost about 10 percent. The elections featured a record low voter turnout of about 40 percent.

Prime Minister and NDSV Chairman Simeon Saxecoburggotski commented on the preliminary results of the election by saying on 26 October that one cannot compare local and parliamentary elections, reported. He said he believes the results show that the NDSV has managed to overcome the bipolar political model dominated by the BSP and the SDS.

NDSV failed test
BSP Chairman Sergey Stanishev said his party received about 1 million votes -- more than in the 1999 local and the 2001 parliamentary elections. Former Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov (SDS) said the results show that the NDSV failed to convince the electorate that it is capable of governing the country. He said the BSP remains the SDS's main opponent. Sofia Mayor Stefan Sofiyanski (SSD) suggested that his party cooperate with the SDS, its former ally.

Mayor elections go to 2nd round
The mayoral races in Bulgaria's two largest cities are heading to a second round, as no candidates Sofia or Plovdiv won a majority in the 26 October election, reported. In Sofia, incumbent Mayor Sofiyanski (SSD) will most likely run against BSP candidate Stoyan Aleksandrov, according to preliminary results reported by BTA. In Plovdiv, incumbent Mayor Ivan Chomakov (SDS) will face Zahari Georgiev (BSP), BTA reported. In Varna, Ruse, and Razgrad, incumbent Mayors Kiril Yordanov (BSP), Eleonora Nikolova (SDS), and Venelin Uzunov (BSP), respectively, won by large margins.
Dimitrov, Filip (M) Politician Bulgaria
Stanishev, Sergey (M) Politician Bulgaria
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