March 29, 2023 14:31 GMT
BULGARIA-2 Apr Snap Election Unlikely To Resolve Deadlock
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The 2 April snap general election taking place in Bulgaria looks unlikely to resolve the country's long-running political deadlock according to current opinion polling. Sunday's vote will be the fifth election in just over two years, with a collapse in support for the historically dominant centre-right GERB-SDS of former PM Boyko Borisov and the centre-left Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSPzB) resulting in splintered results with no majority coalition able to form or stay in power for any length of time.
- Borisov's populist conservative GERB-SDS and the liberal centrist We Continue The Change-Democratic Bulgaria (PP-DB) alliance sit almost neck-and-neck in polls at around 25% support. Parties such as the Turkish minority-interest Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) and the BSPzB could prove potential kingmakers.
- The far-right ultranationalist Revival is set to perform well and could emerge as the third-largest party in parliament. Meanwhile, an number of smaller parties sit close to the 4% support threshold , including the Russophile Bulgarian Rise (BV) of former PM Stefan Yanev, the anti-corruption 'The Left!', and the populist 'There Is Such A Country' (ITN) of media personality Slavi Trifonov.
- Sustained political instability in Bulgaria has not made significant waves at the EU level, given that it is not part of the eurozone and is one of the bloc's smaller economies. However, a portion of the Bulgarian electorate and a number of parties remain overtly Russophile in their outlook, and should these parties seek to prop up a GERB-led gov't it could prove a cause for concern in Brussels.
Chart 1. Bulgaria General Election Opinion Polling, % and Trendline
Source: Market Links, Sova Harris, Mediana, CAM, Nasoca, Trend, Gallup, Alpha Research, Exacta, MNI. N.b. Prior to 10-Feb PP and DB ran as separate parties.