Bulgarian TV host’s political party wins parliamentary elections by narrow margin
The political party of a Bulgarian television host won the national parliamentary elections on Monday by a narrow margin, as nearly 99% of the ballots were counted, the Associated Press reported.
Slavi Trifonov’s anti-elite party There Is Such a People won 23.0% of the vote, edging the center-right GERB party of former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov by 0.2%.
Trifonov said his party would not form a coalition but would “take political responsibility” and propose its own minority government to parliament.
The 240-seat Parliament is made up of four other parties, including the Socialist Party with 13.5%, the liberal anti-corruption Democratic Bulgaria group with 12.6%, the Turkish ethnic party MRF with 10.7% and the Alliance center-left Stand Up! Mafia out! with 5 percent.
For more Associated Press reporting, see below.
International observers said on Monday that fundamental freedoms were generally respected during the ballot.
“These elections took place against a backdrop of persistent public mistrust of the political establishment, mainly due to widespread allegations of corruption and an unsuccessful attempt to form a government following the April elections,” he said. said Artur Gerasymov, head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The snap elections came just three months after an inconclusive vote and again produced a fragmented parliament that will struggle to form a viable governing coalition. They also marked a further decline in support for Borisov’s GERB party, after the current interim government made public allegations of widespread corruption during his reign.
Bulgaria, a member of NATO and the EU, has been repeatedly criticized for not tackling corruption and for shortcomings in the rule of law and media freedom.
The anti-corruption campaign by opponents of Borisov has been bolstered by sanctions imposed last month by the US Treasury against several Bulgarian officials and business leaders for corruption.
The new parliament is expected to meet for its first session next week.