• Left tripled their share of votes
  • Bulgaria

  • 02 Jul 14 Posted under: Βουλγαρία
  • Results 2014

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    Short overview of the European elections in Bulgaria 2014

    On May 22-25, 2014, the citizens of the European Union voted on the composition of the European Parliament for the eighth time. In Bulgaria, the European elections were held on May 25, 2014. Despite the increased importance of the European Union and its influence on many areas of everyday life, the political parties in Bulgaria again failed to motivate more eligible voters to take part in the European elections than in 2009. The turnout of 35.52% is 1.97% below the turnout in 2009 (37.49%).

     The valid votes were distributed as follows:

    Party/Coalition

    Alignment

    European Party

    Votes in %

    Votes in the European Elections 2009

    GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria)

    right-wing populist and conservative

    member of the European People’s Party

    30.40%

    24.36% (+6.04%)

    Coalition for Bulgaria (the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the party “Movement for Social Humanism”, the party “The Bulgarian Social Democrats”, the party “Roma”, the Communist Party of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Agrarian Union “Aleksandar Stamboliyski”, the party “New Dawn” and the party “European Security and Integration”)

    social-democratic

    The Bulgarian Socialist Party and the party “Bulgarian Social Democrats” are members of the Party of European Socialists

    18.94%

    18.50% (+0.44%)

    DPS (Movement for Rights and Freedoms)

    liberal

    Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

    17.26%

    14.14% (+3.12%)

    Coalition “Bulgaria Without Censorship” (the party “Bulgaria Without Censorship”, the party VMRO – “Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization”, the party “George’s Day Movement” and the party “Agrarian People’s Union”)

    right-wing populist and nationalist

    n/a

    10.66%

    n/a

    The coalition “Reformist Bloc” (the party “Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria”, the party “Bulgaria for the Citizens”, the party “Union of Democratic Forces”, the “People’s Party Freedom and Dignity” and the Bulgarian Agrarian People’s Union)

    right-wing conservative

    The party “Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria” and the party “Union of Democratic Forces” are members of the European People’s Party

    6.45%

    Nein

    The coalition “ABV – Alternative for Bulgarian Revival” (the party “OBT – United Labour Bloc” and the party “OSD – United Social Democrats”)

    social-democratic; nationalist

    n/a

    4.02%

    n/a

    The party “National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria”

    nationalist

    n/a

    3.05%

    n/a

    The party “Ataka”

    extreme right; nationalist

     

    2.95%

    11.96% (-9.01%)

     

    The seats in the European Parliament are distributed as follows:

    Party/Coalition

    Seats 2014

    Seats 2009

    GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria)

    6

    7 (-1)

    Coalition for Bulgaria

    4

    5 (-1)

    DPS (Movement for Rights and Freedoms)

    4

    3 (+1)

    The coalition “Bulgaria Without Censorship”

    2

    n/a

    The coalition “Reformist Bloc”

    1

    n/a

    The party “Ataka”

    0

    2 (-2)

     

    These results show that the strongest political force in the European elections 2014 in Bulgaria is the right-wing populist party GERB. This party governed Bulgaria until February 2013 and had to resign following the mass protests in the winter of 2013. The main loser of these elections is the Bulgarian Socialist Party, which ran as part of the Coalition for Bulgaria. At the same time, its current coalition partner DPS gained votes. Already on the evening of the election, these developments stirred discussions about early parliamentary elections in Bulgaria before the end of 2014.

    The campaign in Bulgaria was shaped by the following main topics: The fundamental freedoms of the EU’s internal market, the advancement of Bulgaria as a welfare state, the promotion of education, human rights, Bulgaria’s equal status within the EU, and others. Most of the parties and coalitions that took part in and campaigned for the elections took up these topics with a view to national politics and designed their campaigns as campaigns for national elections and not for European elections.

    The tendency of a strong shift to the right in the EU is also discernible in Bulgaria. The extreme right-wing party “Ataka” that had been represented in the European Parliament will not be represented anymore, but in their place the coalition “Bulgaria Without Censorship”, which consists of nationalist and other extreme right-wing groups, was elected to the European Parliament with 10.66%. In total, 16.66% of votes in Bulgaria went to nationalist groups and parties of the extreme right.

    The Bulgarian Left

    The party “The Bulgarian Left”, which has been a member of the European Left since 2010, took part in the elections for the European Parliament for the first time on May 25, 2014. The central message of our campaign was the necessity of a different European Union that serves the people and not the banks and corporations. In our campaign we publicized the demands of the European Left for a democratic, social, peaceful and ecological European Union on a new contractual basis. We also severely criticized the policies of the Troika and the brutal austerity policy towards the Southern European countries. Given that Bulgaria is the poorest country in the EU and the majority of the population lives in poverty, we placed particular emphasis on social issues. Thus, for example, we demanded the introduction of an EU-wide minimum wage, which would amount to 60% of the average wage of the respective member state. In this context, we also demanded an immediate increase in the minimum wage and the minimum pension in Bulgaria, so that the people in the country can live in dignity. Other topics important to us were criticism of privatized health care and the necessity of health care free of charge and accessible to all; criticism of the destroyed Bulgarian agriculture and the necessity to put it on a new footing; criticism of the policies relating to villages and the smaller towns and the necessity of creating perspectives for the development of rural areas; the mass emigration of Bulgarian citizens because of the lack of personal and professional perspectives in Bulgaria and the necessity of different policies that guarantee perspectives for life in dignity and professional development in Bulgaria; discrimination against minorities; homophobia and the current situation in Ukraine.

    Left: From 3% in projections to 0.5% - still almost tripled share

    The first projections on the evening of May 25, 2014 showed 3% for the party “The Bulgarian Left”, which the media and the commentators saw as the big surprise of the European elections 2014. However, after the vote count was completed, the Central Election Commission announced 0.5% as the official result of the party. This is the only case in these elections in which such a large reduction from the first projections to the final result occurred. The reasons for this unexpected difference will have to be analyzed and determined in the coming days and weeks. Given that several allegations of violations of election laws were filed on election day, manipulations cannot be excluded. However, the result of 0.5% almost amounts to a tripling of the last result (0.17%) that the party obtained in the parliamentary elections in 2013.

    Margarita Mileva, Leader of the party “The Bulgarian Left” and Vice President of the Party of the European Left

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    Results 2009

     


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