Elections in Bulgaria

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Bulgaria elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term directly by the people. The National Assembly (Narodno Sabranie) has 240 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies with a 4% threshold. Bulgaria has a multi-party system, in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each to form governments.

Parliamentary elections[edit]

Parliamentary elections have been held in Bulgaria since 1879. There was a period when partisan politics was banned from 1934 to 1944; in the wake of the Bulgarian coup d'état of 1934 and the sequential personal rule of Tsar Boris III. There was also period of single party system between 1945 and 1989, during the People's Republic of Bulgaria, during which only candidates sanctioned by authorities could run. This, in practice, gave the Bulgarian Communist Party and its collaborators a monopoly on power.

Until 1945 there was no universal suffrage for the women. The table below show the elections since 1990, when the government became a democratic republic.

All elections since 1991 have had 240 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies with a 4% threshold. The two elections that differed from this model was the 1990 Grand National Assembly election, where 400 representatives were elected: half by proportional representation and half by first-past-the-post voting. The other exception was the 2009 election when 209 representatives were elected by proportional representation and 31 through first past the post; seats corresponding to the provinces and the largest cities.

Recent elections[edit]

Bulgarian parliamentary elections 2021. Percentages of parties winning by region.

There Is Such a People received the most votes, finishing around 15,000 votes ahead of GERB–SDS. It was the first time that GERB or a GERB-led coalition had not won the most votes or seats since the party's establishment in 2006. Four other parties (BSP for Bulgaria, Democratic Bulgaria, Movement for Rights and Freedom, and Stand Up! Mafia, Get Out!) also won seats.[1] There Is Such a People performed well among young voters, with 37.4% of Generation Z supporting the party and 30.9% of voters aged 30–39.[2] GERB–SDS received high support from voters aged 40–69, and BSP for Bulgaria received high support from voters older than 70.[2]

International observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said freedoms were respected in the election.[1]

July 2021 Bulgaria Parliament.svg
There Is Such a People657,82923.7865+14
BSP for Bulgaria365,69513.2236–7
Democratic Bulgaria345,33112.4834+7
Movement for Rights and Freedoms292,51410.5729–1
Stand Up! Mafia, Get Out!136,8854.9513–1
Bulgarian Patriots85,7953.1000
Bulgarian Summer49,8331.800New
Left Union for a Clean and Holy Republic10,3090.370New
Republicans for Bulgaria8,5460.3100
National Association of the Right7,8720.280New
People's Voice4,7410.1700
Bulgarian National Union – New Democracy4,6900.1700
Bulgaria of Work and Reason3,9480.140New
Together Movement for Change3,4450.1200
Green Party of Bulgaria3,2570.1200
Direct Democracy3,1430.1100
None of the above35,2011.27
Valid votes2,766,85399.66
Invalid/blank votes9,3420.34
Total votes2,776,195100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,873,78440.39
Source: CIK, IFES

Presidential election[edit]

Presidential elections have been held since 1992. From 1996 onwards, presidential elections have been held every five years.

CandidateRunning matePartyFirst roundSecond round
Rumen RadevIliana IotovaIndependent (Bulgarian Socialist Party)973,75425.442,063,03259.37
Tsetska TsachevaPlamen ManushevGERB840,63521.961,256,48536.16
Krasimir KarakachanovYavor NotevUnited Patriots573,01614.97
Veselin MareshkiPetar PetrovIndependent427,66011.17
Plamen OresharskiDanail PapazovIndependent253,7266.63
Traycho TraykovSabi SabevReformist Bloc224,7345.87
Ivailo KalfinLyubomir HalachevAlternative for Bulgarian Revival125,5313.28
Tatyana DonchevaMincho SpasovMovement 21–NDSV69,3721.81
George GanchevKolyo ParamovChristian Social Union27,9280.73
Velizar EnchevBilyana GrancharovaMovement for Radical Change Bulgarian Spring18,2130.48
Dimitar MarinovRadoslav PetrovBulgarian National Unification14,9740.39
Rumen GalabinovVeska VolevaIndependent10,2860.27
Plamen PaskovSvetozar SaevIndependent10,1030.26
Aleksandar TomovRadoslav RadoslavovBulgarian Socialdemocratic-Euroleft9,5130.25
Gospodin TonevAndrey AndreevBulgarian Democratic Community6,8550.18
Kemil RamadanMomchil DobrevBalkanic Democratic League6,0890.16
Kamen PopovGeorgi NedelchevIndependent5,2120.14
Diana DimitrovaGabriel GerasimovIndependent4,3620.11
Nikolay BanevSali IbrayimIndependent4,1960.11
Yordanka KolevaVeselin HristovIndependent4,1820.11
Biser MilanovKrasimir NastevIndependent3,2150.08
None of the above214,0945.59155,4114.47
Valid votes3,827,65096.963,474,92898.14
Invalid/blank votes119,9253.0466,0361.86
Total votes3,947,575100.003,540,964100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,014,72356.287,020,11950.44
Source: Electoral Commission of Bulgaria

European Parliament elections[edit]


Four nationwide referendums have been held in Bulgaria since it gained its De Facto independence in 1878:

  • On 19 November 1922 the question was if criminals from the three previous wars were to be prosecuted;[3]
  • On 8 September 1946 the question was if Bulgaria was to remain a monarchy to become a republic;[4]
  • On 16 May 1971 the nation's approval of a new constitution was asked;[5]
  • On 27 January 2013 the question was if Bulgaria should develop its nuclear power by building a new nuclear power plant.[6][7]
  • On 25 October 2015 the question was if Bulgaria should introduce electronic voting.
  • On 6 November 2016 voters were asked three questions. The questions were: Whether they supported limiting public funding of political parties; the introduction of compulsory voting in elections and referendums; and changing the electoral system for the National Assembly to the two-round system.

Several regional referendums have been held as well.

Local elections[edit]

Recent elections[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Toshkov, Veselin (12 July 2021). "Anti-elite party earns tight win in Bulgarian elections". Associated Press. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b "37.4% of Generation Z supports There is Such a People party: survey". Radio Bulgaria. 13 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  3. ^ Bulgarien, 19. November 1922 : Anklage gegen Kriegsverbrecher Direct Democracy
  4. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p368 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  5. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p368
  6. ^ Q&A: Bulgaria's nuclear energy referendum BBC News, 25 January 2013
  7. ^ Bulgarians vote in referendum on nuclear energy Deutsche Welle

External links[edit]