Bulgaria is hitting home in the run-up to the April 4th elections, with only two days left in the campaign. The pandemic made the parliamentary election campaign for the 45th National Assembly of Bulgaria quite unique, due to all the restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Over the past month, have the candidate parties and coalitions managed to impress the majority of undecided voters?
“Obviously, the situation was special and it made it difficult for most parties, especially the emerging ones,” sociologist Zivko Georgiev said in an interview with Bulgarian National Radio (BER). “On the other hand, this campaign gave the parties the opportunity to find the right communication techniques and cleverly presented ideas, an opportunity that I think they did not take full advantage of.”
“I was not impressed by the election campaign. I can not find ideas and figures that will push me to vote “, these are the most common answers in the poll of the journalist Dobromir Tsvetkov for the Horizon program of VER.
“I will vote, but I have not decided yet,” says a citizen from Sofia. “There is no time left, but it is the day of reflection and by then I hope to have set my mind. In any case, I will vote. I do not evaluate the election campaign so positively, I do not think it is serious enough and enough. I watched the debates, but saw nothing that would draw me to the party programs. ”
“I will not vote,” said another citizen insistently. “I have not voted once in the last 30 years. The election campaign can not convince us and this is because there are no candidates to make us vote for them. ”
Citizens believe that there is no real discussion and conflict of ideas in the election campaign. Quarantine does not allow candidates to have actual contact with potential voters. Some point out that discussions in the media can prevent them from voting and not the other way around.
“What we managed to observe during the campaign does not give a clear answer as to what will happen on election day,” explains sociologist Zivko Georgiev.
“Did the parties manage to find the right way to approach their voters?” If the presence of parties in the media was complemented by the usual, more direct contacts with voters, whom we do not usually see, and the way this campaign was organized will be made clear by the way Election Day falls. “
During the pre-election debates in the media, the leaders of the major parties seemed to avoid a lively debate in the air, depriving citizens of the opportunity to see a major clash of ideas. What is the reason for this?
“The bitter truth is that we do not have a convincing leadership at the party level. “Many of the so-called leaders are tired, they have lost their potential,” explains the sociologist. “Some new faces appeared, but they were overwhelmed by a number of circumstances – the epidemic situation which limited their opportunities for more non-traditional appearances obviously played a role, along with a lack of resources. Let us not deceive ourselves; funds, media, public resources are more accessible to the ruling parties. Finally, the mainstream media failed to find the right form to challenge their guests, which would help voters make an informed and motivated decision to participate in the election process. “
Zivko Georgiev predicts turnout will be around 50% on April 4th. As he says, there will be surprises in the voting results if more than 3 million people vote. The political formations that will enter the next parliament will be 5 by 8, stressing that it will be very difficult to form a governing coalition, which paves the way for new early elections.
Source: Bulgarian National Radio