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ChairmanBoyko Borisov
Founded3 December 2006 (2006-12-03)
Split fromNational Movement for Stability and Progress
Membership (2018)94,000[1]
Political positionCentre-right[4][8][9]
to right-wing[10]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliation
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
Colours  Blue
National Assembly
95 / 240
European Parliament
5 / 17
101 / 265

GERB (Bulgarian: ГЕРБ, lit. 'coat of arms') is a conservative,[2] populist[3][4] political party in Bulgaria which has been the ruling party since 2009.[a]


GERB is headed by Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov, the former mayor of Sofia, former member of the National Movement Simeon II and former personal guard of Todor Zhivkov in the 1990s. The establishment of the party followed the creation of a non-profit organization with the acronym (in Bulgarian) GERB — Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, earlier the same year.

In early January 2007,[11] and early February 2007,[12] the party came second in public polls on party support with around 14%, trailing the Bulgarian Socialist Party which had around 25%. Its stated priorities are fighting crime and corruption, preserving family as the cornerstone of society and achieving energy independence.

GERB won the 2009 European Parliament election in Bulgaria with 24.36% of the vote. The party elected five MEPs and joined the European People's Party-European Democrats Group in the European Parliament (in the EPP section). On June 6, 2007 GERB applied formally to join as a member-party the European People's Party[13] and joined EPP on February 7, 2008.[14]

GERB won the 2009 parliamentary elections, held a month after the European ballot, winning 39.7% of the popular vote and 117 seats (out of 240). After the elections, a new government was formed, led by Borisov, primarily with GERB members and with 5 independent ministers around Deputy Prime Minister Simeon Djankov. The reformist wing was responsible for some of the most significant legislative victories, including a Constitutional reform to ban tax increases. On 20 February 2013, the government resigned after nationwide protests demanding it to step down.[15]

GERB's candidates for the 2011 presidential election, Rosen Plevneliev and Margarita Popova (presidential nominee and running mate, respectively), won the elections on the second ballot with 52.6% of the popular vote.

GERB won the 2013 parliamentary elections with 97 seats, receiving 30.5% of the popular vote. This made GERB the first governing party to be re-elected in the history of the post-communist Bulgaria. However, with lack of support from the other parties and designated to form a new government, Borisov refused the offer and so GERB went in the opposition. However, due to the collapse of the coalition government in 2014, GERB backed into power after the snap elections.

In 2020 GERB suffered a split, as a sizable number of members and local party organizations left alongside former second-in-command Tsvetan Tsvetanov to form the Republicans for Bulgaria party.[16]

List of chairmen[edit]

Portrait Term of office
1 Boyko Borisov


Boyko Borissov in Tehran.jpg 3 December 2006 Incumbent



Bulgarian Parliament
Election Seats won Votes % Rank Position
117 / 240
1,678,583 39.7% 1st GERB minority government
97 / 240
1,081,605 30.5% 1st Opposition
84 / 240
1,072,491 32.7% 1st GERB–RB coalition
95 / 240
1,147,283 33.5% 1st GERB–OP coalition
Presidential elections
Election year Candidate First round Second round
Votes % Rank Votes % Result
2011 Rosen Plevneliev 1,349,380 40.1% 1st 1,698,136 52.6% Won
2016 Tsetska Tsacheva 840,635 22.0% 2nd 1,256,485 36.2% Lost
European Parliament
Election Seats won Votes % Rank
5 / 18
420,001 21.68% 1st
5 / 18
627,693 24.36% 1st
6 / 17
680,838 30.40% 1st
6 / 17
607,194 31.07% 1st


  1. ^ "БСП и ГЕРБ вече почти равни по брой членове" [BSP and GERB now almost even in membership]. 24 Chasa. August 6, 2018. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "Bulgaria". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  3. ^ a b Barzachka, Nina (April 25, 2017). "Bulgaria's government will include far-right nationalist parties for the first time". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Hope, Kerin; Troev, Theodor (June 10, 2009). "Populist promises to clean up Bulgaria". Financial Times. Retrieved December 19, 2011.(registration required)
  5. ^ Novaković, Igor (2010). ""European" and "Extreme" Populists in the Same Row – the New Government of the Republic of Bulgaria" (PDF). Western Balkans Security Observer. ISAC Fund (17): 63–73. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  6. ^ Cristova, Christiana (2010). "Populism: the Bulgarian case" (PDF). Sociedade e Cultura. Goiânia. 13 (2): 221–232. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  7. ^ Routledge Handbook of European Elections edited by Donatella M. Viola, page 639
  8. ^ Smilov, Daniel; Jileva, Elena (2009), "The politics of Bulgarian citizenship: National identity, democracy and other uses", Citizenship Policies in the New Europe, Amsterdam University Press, p. 229
  9. ^ Jansen, Thomas; Van Hecke, Steven (2012), At Europe's Service: The Origins and Evolution of the European People's Party, Springer, p. 78
  10. ^ "Sofia Mayor Party Mulls Roma Minister in Future Cabinet". Novinite. March 5, 2009.
  11. ^ "Socialists Lead GERB in Bulgarian Politics: Angus Reid Global Monitor". Angus Reid Public Opinion. Vision Critical. Archived from the original on July 8, 2009. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
  12. ^ "Socialists Gain, GERB Second in Bulgaria: Angus Reid Global Monitor". Angus Reid Public Opinion. Vision Critical. Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
  13. ^ "Лидерът на ПП ГЕРБ е на двудневно посещение в Брюксел". ГЕРБ (in Bulgarian). June 6, 2007. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
  14. ^ "Bulgaria's GERB joins European People's Party". February 8, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
  15. ^ New York Times, The. "After Bulgarian Protests, Prime Minister Resigns". Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  16. ^ "Заплаха ли е за ГЕРБ новата партия на Цветанов". (in Bulgarian). Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  1. ^ With a break between March 2013 and November 2014

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