Bulgarian parliamentary election, 2013

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Bulgarian parliamentary election, 2013
Bulgaria
2009 ←
12 May 2013 (2013-05-12) → 2014

All 240 seats to the National Assembly
121 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 51.3%
  First party Second party
  Boyko Borisov 3.jpg Sergey Stanishev 2009 elections diff crop.jpg
Leader Boyko Borisov Sergei Stanishev
Party GERB KB
Leader since 2006 2001
Last election 117 seats 40 seats
Seats won 97 84
Seat change Decrease 20 Increase 44
Popular vote 1,081,605 942,541
Percentage 30.5% 26.6%
Swing Decrease 9.2pp Increase 8.9pp

  Third party Fourth party
  Lutfi Mestan Chairman of DPS.jpg Volen Siderov ATAKA.jpg
Leader Lyutvi Mestan Volen Siderov
Party DPS ATAKA
Leader since 2013 2005
Last election 37 seats 21 seats
Seats won 36 23
Seat change Decrease 1 Increase 2
Popular vote 400,466 258,481
Percentage 11.3% 7.3%
Swing Decrease 2.7pp Decrease 2.1pp

Prime Minister before election

Marin Raykov
Independent

Elected Prime Minister

Plamen Oresharski
BSP

Coat of arms of Bulgaria.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bulgaria

Parliamentary elections were held in Bulgaria on 12 May 2013, two months ahead of schedule.[1] Protests had forced the resignation of the GERB government in February, leading to the election being moved up.[2]

The elections resulted in a minority parliament, with no party winning with a majority of seats and voter turnout at its lowest since the end of the Communist era.[3] Although GERB emerged as the largest party with 97 of the 240 seats, its leader Boyko Borisov later called for an annulment of the results, claiming that there had been illegal campaigning on the day before the election.[4]

Background[edit]

High electricity prices and poverty ignited mass protests in February 2013, eventually leading to the resignation of the GERB government and early elections.[5] The elections were originally scheduled to be held in July, but had to be brought forward. The government resigned the day after clashes between the police and protesters led to bloodshed and a number of civilians being badly injured. It was claimed that some protesters had vandalised public property and acted violently towards the police. А caretaker government was appointed on 13 March 2013 by President Rosen Plevneliev to serve until the elections. On 28 February, Plevneliev announced the earliest possible date for the election would be 12 May.[6]

Electoral system[edit]

The 240 members of the National Assembly were elected by closed-list proportional representation in 31 multi-member constituencies.[7] Parties had to receive at least 4% of the national vote to win any of the proportional seats, which were distributed using the largest remainder method.[8]

Parties that failed to pass the 4% threshold, but received more than 1% of the national vote were to be allocated annual state subsidies to the amount of 12 leva (€6) per vote received.[9]

Campaign[edit]

As a result of the protests over electricity prices, the distribution license for Czech utility company ČEZ was revoked. President Rosen Plevneliev told parliament: "I believe that the necessary key changes in the laws should be decided by a new parliament. The decision is to hold elections."[6]

Former European Commissioner Meglena Kuneva broke from the National Movement for Stability and Progress, formed around Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. She claimed her new party would have significant support even though opinion polls indicated otherwise. She also indicated that it was likely her civil society organisation, Movement "Bulgaria of the Citizens", would become a party as it was "the only way to participate in elections." Rumours suggested she could be a coalition partner to GERB, but she played down such suggestions. In the Socialist party there was infighting over whether Sergei Stanishev or Georgi Parvanov would lead the party.[10]

Several of the parties were newly formed by citizens, resulting from the public discontent from the 2013 Bulgarian protests and the months leading up to them. One such party is People's Voice, formed by Hipodil frontman Svetlio Vitkov.[11] Others were led by citizens using the ticket of parties which were already in existence, as they had not managed to fulfill the strict registration requirements in the two months between the government's resignation and the elections – one such party is the Democratic Citizens' Initiative.[12] In all cases, the citizens' parties still needed to collect the 7,000 signatures necessary for participating in the elections.[13]

Controversy[edit]

Al Jazeera reported voter apathy due to scandals and disappointment with politicians. During the campaign there were also allegations of fraud and an illegal wiretapping scandal. The day before the election, a printing press in Kostinbrod was raided and 350,000 alleged illegally printed ballots were recovered. BSP leader Sergey Stanishev said that this was preparation for fraud with 10 percent of the electoral turnout being falsified for about 25 constituencies. He said: "This is a scandal unseen in Bulgaria so far." There was also allegations of illegal wiretapping of politicians. Prosecutors suggested former Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov was responsible with media revealing Borisov's alleged summons of Sofia's chief prosecutor to discuss details of the bribery probe. The OSCE's monitoring delegation member Eoghan Murphy said of the fraudulent ballot papers: "It's not for us to investigate these matters. It is for the Bulgarian authorities, but we will be interested in their assessment of the situation and how they deal with the matter as reported."[14] In their post-election press-conferences and press interviews, many of the parties stated that the vote should be invalidated because of the so-called "ballot-gate".

The revelation of the illegal ballots was made on the day before the election, designated "day for thought", when no political campaigning is allowed. Most of the major parties held press conferences immediately after the revelation, after which the Prosecutor's office made a formal announcement on the matter.[15] The Prosecution was then accused by GERB that their announcement "cost them 5-6% of the vote",[16] and four days later, in their first press conference since election night, Borisov stated that he will officially ask for an invalidation of the vote.[17]

Opinion polls[edit]

Pollster Date GERB BSP DPS Ataka DSB SDS DBG Ref
NCIOM 10 May 34 25 13 9 [18]
Skala 10 May 26.8 26.4 11.5 9.2 4.0 3.1 5.4 [19]
Mediana 10 May 32.0 31.5 11.6 8.0 ~4 [20]
Gallup BBSS 10 May 29-35 28-32 10-12 7-9 3-5 [21]
Alfa Research 9 May 33 28 10 7.5 2.7 2 4 [22]
Afis 8 May 21.8 19.5 6.0 5.8 3.4 [23]
MBMD 29 April 28.3 18.7 5.2 5.2 ~2 4.1 [24]
NCIOM 28 April 23.6 17.7 6.0 4.9 3.0 [25]
Mediana 25 April 23.3 21.4 6.2 5.5 2.1 0.9 4.5 [26]
CAM 24 April 24.1 18.2 6.1 4.8 1.2 1.0 4.4 [27]
Afis 19 April 24.0 18.9 5.0 5.4 1.1 0.7 3.1 [28]
NCIOM 19 April 23.9 17.5 6.2 5.2 2.0 0.7 3.1 [29]
Alfa Research 18 April 22.5 16.9 4.8 4.9 1.8 0.6 2.9 [30]
Gallup BBSS 17 April 22.8 19.9 4.9 5.7 1.2 1.2 3.9 [31]
Mediana 12 April 26.4 23.7 5.8 6.2 2.4 1.8 4.5 [32]
NCIOM 4 April 24.4 17.5 6.5 5.0 2.0 0.7 3.5 [33]
MBMD 2 April 30.1 15.6 5.0 4.4 2.7 [34]
Skala 2 April 25.3 20.2 14.0 9.9 6.0 [35]
Modern Politics 2 April 24.8 20.6 5.6 4.9 3.6 0.7 4.3 [36]
Alfa Research 1 April 21.9 17.4 4.8 5.5 1.8 0.6 3.9 [37]
Sova Harris 23 March 19.0 18.7 5.2 5.0 0.7 0.7 1.6 [38]
Mediana 17 March 21.3 20.4 7.9 4.3 1.5 1.4 5.1 [39]
Gallup BBSS 15 March 19.7 18.6 5.2 5.0 0.7 0.7 3.0 [40]
Modern Politics 8 March 24.1 20.3 4.6 3.6 2.1 1.1 2.7 [41]
Mediana 15 February 19.3 22.5 6.8 3.6 1.4 1.6 5.9 [42][43][44]
Gallup BBSS 14 February 22.6 22.1 7.3 1.2 1.3 0.9 4.8 [45][46]
Last election 5 July 2009 39.7 17.7 14.0 9.4 6.8

Results[edit]

There were 6.9 million eligible voters. Voting ended at 21:00. There were also over 250 international electoral monitors.[14] Turnout was 51.3%. Four parties passed the electoral threshold, winning seats in parliament. These four parties account for only 75.76% of all valid ballots cast.

Distribution of votes by constituency
Distribution of seats by constituency
Party Votes % Seats +/−
GERB 1,081,605 30.54 97 −20
Coalition for Bulgaria 942,541 26.61 84 +44
Movement for Rights and Freedoms 400,466 11.31 36 −1
Attack 258,481 7.30 23 +2
National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria 131,169 3.70 0 New
Bulgaria for Citizens Movement 115,190 3.25 0 New
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria 103,638 2.93 0 −5
IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement 66,803 1.89 0 New
Lider 61,482 1.74 0 0
Order, Law and Justice 59,145 1.67 0 −10
Center–Freedom and Dignity 57,611 1.63 0 New
Union of Democratic Forces 48,681 1.38 0 −9
People's Voice 47,419 1.34 0 New
The Greens 26,520 0.75 0 0
New Alternative 18,267 0.52 0 New
Proud Bulgaria 16,126 0.46 0 New
Democratic Civil Initiative 15,482 0.44 0 New
Civil List–Modern Bulgaria 14,352 0.41 0 New
Liberal Alliance 8,873 0.25 0 New
Bulgarian Agrarian National Union 7,715 0.22 0 0
Party of Bulgarian Women 6,545 0.19 0 New
Bulgarian Left 5,924 0.17 0 0
Union of Communists in Bulgaria 6,168 0.17 0 New
United People's Party 6,143 0.17 0 New
Bulgarian Spring 4,097 0.12 0 New
Christian Party of Bulgaria 3,722 0.11 0 New
Middle European 3,539 0.10 0 New
National Democratic Party 3,445 0.10 0 New
Democratic Alternative for National Unification 3,414 0.10 0 New
National Patriotic Unity 3,239 0.09 0 New
Democratic Party 3,160 0.09 0 New
The Other Bulgaria 2,497 0.07 0 0
Cause Bulgaria 2,234 0.07 0 New
National Unity Movement 1,786 0.05 0 New
Christian Social Union 1,687 0.05 0 New
Social Democrat Party 1,300 0.04 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 90,047
Total 3,541,745 100 240 0
Registered voters 6,919,260 51.33
Source: Central Electoral Commission

Reactions[edit]

The election was noted for its low voter turnout. After voting finished, about 50 protesters congregated outside the election centre at the Palace of Culture in Sofia demanding GERB not be given a chance to form a new government. The protesters chanted "mafia" and were involved in brief scuffles with the police.[47] Sergei Stanishev, leader of the second-place Bulgarian Socialist Party, dismissed GERB's chances of forming a government and expressed willingness to negotiate with the other two parties. GERB set a precedent by not holding the traditional post-election press conference for elected parties, and they stayed out of the media for four days until the finalized results came out on Thursday. [48]

Government formation[edit]

Main article: Oresharski Government

On 24 May, Borisov returned the president's mandate to try and form a government. President Rosen Plevneliev then invited the BSP to form a government. Reuters speculated that the BSP and the DPS will put together a cabinet of non-partisan specialists. That will be approved if some of Attack's 23 MPs boycott the vote, as they did for the election of the new speaker, Mihail Mikov.[49] Former Finance Minister Plamen Oresharski was nominated for the post of prime minister by the BSP and, after a meeting with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms,[50] was appointed on 29 May.[51] About his new cabinet, Oresharski said: "I have always been skeptical towards the division between leftists and rightists. There are some situations in which the most important thing is a rational and pragmatic approach. The main criterion for the composition of the cabinet is expertise."[50]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bulgaria Elections 2013 ftp Headlines, 24 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Q&A: Bulgaria's parliamentary elections". BBC. 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  3. ^ Uncertainty reigns after Bulgarian election stalemate Euronews, 13 May 2013
  4. ^ Opposition, derision for Borissov’s call to annul May 12 elections Sofia Globe, 16 May 2013
  5. ^ Cage, Sam. "Bulgarian government resigns amid growing protests". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  6. ^ a b "Bulgaria president calls May election after protests". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-05-11. 
  7. ^ Election Profile IFES
  8. ^ Electoral system IPU
  9. ^ 9 Parties Win State Subsidies in Bulgaria's General Elections Novinite, 13 May 2013
  10. ^ byClive Leviev-Sawyer (2012-03-13). "The long, long road to Bulgaria’s 2013 parliamentary elections - Opinion". The Sofia Echo. Retrieved 2013-05-11. 
  11. ^ Svetlio Vitkov with the "People's Voice" Party, WebCafe, 6 Oct 2012. Retrieved May 2013.
  12. ^ The Protest With Its Own Party, OffNews, 22 Mar 2013. Retrieved May 2013.
  13. ^ 71 parties want to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, Dnevnik, 27 mar 2013. Retrieved May 2013.
  14. ^ a b Deadlock feared after Bulgaria elections
  15. ^ On the Media Announcements about Kostinbrod, Prosecution of the Republic of Bulgaria, 11 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  16. ^ Borisov Accuses Prosecutor for Lost Votes, Dir.bg, 14 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  17. ^ GERB to ask for Invalidation and New Elections, Kapital, 16 may 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  18. ^ "НЦИОМ: ГЕРБ с 9% преднина пред БСП". Блиц. 2013-05-10. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
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  20. ^ ""Галъп": Паритет между ГЕРБ и БСП, "Медиана": основните политически опоненти са наравно". Dnevnik. 2013-05-10. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
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  22. ^ ""Алфа Рисърч": Четири партии влизат в парламента, една е почти сигурна". Dnevnik. 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  23. ^ ""Афис": Кампанията възкреси РЗС, поне пет партии влизат в парламента". Dnevnik. 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
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  26. ^ "Разликата между ГЕРБ и БСП се топи". Труд. 2013-04-25. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  27. ^ "New Poll Gives GERB 6% Lead over Bulgaria's Socialists". 2013-04-24. Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  28. ^ ""Афис": ГЕРБ е изчерпала потенциала си, БСП има накъде да расте до изборите". в. Дневник. 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2013-04-19. 
  29. ^ "НЦИОМ: ГЕРБ запазва преднината си пред БСП". в. Труд. 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2013-04-19. 
  30. ^ ""Алфа Рисърч": ГЕРБ запазва преднината пред БСП, избирателната активност расте". dnevnik.bg. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  31. ^ "Шансовете на ГЕРБ и БСП остават „на кантар“". Преса. 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  32. ^ "ГЕРБ срещу БСП с преднина 2,7%". Труд. 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
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  34. ^ "МБМД огласи официално „онова” изследване". komentator.bg. 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  35. ^ "ГЕРБ 25,3%, БСП 20,2". ПИК. 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
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  37. ^ ""Алфа Рисърч": Ако изборите бяха днес - ГЕРБ, БСП, ДПС, "Атака" и "България на гражданите" влизат в парламента". dnevnik.bg. 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  38. ^ "СДС и ДСБ са под чертата на изборите - Меглена Кунева също е аут, "Атака" върви нагоре". blitz.bg. 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  39. ^ "Отново ли "ГЕРБ на власт"?". Труд. 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  40. ^ "Кунева губи, печели Волен". Преса. 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  41. ^ "Обществени нагласи по време на криза". Институт за модерна политика. 2013-03-08. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
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  44. ^ ""Медиана": БСП изпреварва ГЕРБ". 24 часа. 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2013-02-22. 
  45. ^ a b "Според "Галъп" - по равно, "Медиана" даде предимство на БСП". frognews.com. 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  46. ^ "Кунева губи, печели Волен". Преса. 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-02-22. 
  47. ^ "Bulgaria election fails to end political stalemate". BBC News Europe. BBC. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  48. ^ Borisov stays quiet, Stanishev Speaks (in Bulgarian), Deutsche Welle, 13 May 2013.
  49. ^ http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/05/23/uk-bulgaria-vote-idUKBRE94M0EA20130523
  50. ^ a b "PM Hopeful: New Bulgarian Cabinet Will Be 'Expert, Pragmatic'". Novinite.com. Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  51. ^ Buckley, Neil (2013-05-29). "Bulgaria parliament votes for a ‘Mario Monti’ to lead government". FT.com. Retrieved 2013-06-04.