Bulgaria: In the final stage of the elections with GERB in first place

Bulgaria is on the eve of the third consecutive early parliamentary elections and regular presidential elections. The election campaign is in the lead with the latest poll giving GERB the upper hand in the upcoming parliamentary elections, at 23.8 per cent, according to a self-funded poll by Exacta Research Group. According to a poll conducted between October 29th and November 5th among 1,025 Bulgarian adults in 91 settlements, the race between the Bulgarian Socialist Party BSP and Ongoing Change is controversial. Their difference is half a percent in favor of the newly formed party. The poll ranks such people in fourth place with 12.5 per cent, followed by the MFR minority with 9.5 per cent and Democratic Bulgaria with 9.2 per cent.

In terms of the presidential election, incumbent President Rumen Radev and Professor Anastas Gerdjikov are the sure contenders in the second round. According to the poll, the election would be in favor of the current head of state with 63.5% versus 36.5% for Gerdzhikov.

According to Radio Bulgaria, which contacted analysts, they conducted an analysis of voter behavior displayed in public.

“This is a campaign of monologues and, unfortunately, they are very angry monologues,” political scientist Ognian Minchev told BER in an interview. “Apart from the marginal faces, whose presence in the air of national and public media comes as a result of the change of the Electoral Code that allows it, the people’s choice is hindered by the fierce hatred among a large part of the main candidates. They are not perceived as adversaries who should govern the same country, but express themselves for each other in a way that speaks of open hostility between them. “This behavior of politicians legitimizes the polarization of society, intensifies anger and hatred, tendencies to conflict and unwillingness to seek agreement.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly contributed a lot to the aggravation of the already divided Bulgarian society, but the virus that has been between us for almost two years should not be blamed only for this phenomenon. Social anthropologist Strahil Deliiski explained that this is a problem that has many dimensions.

“The most important of them, in my opinion, is the lack of solidarity. The feeling of empathy for the other person, the feeling that I and the person in front of me have an equal right to speak and think, is eventually lost. A society in disintegration cannot give birth to collective meanings and shared values ​​because it is made up of many small groups that produce their own meaning and lose all sense of sociability. We live either as units or as part of small warring tribes. ”

Whether the fatigue of the nearly year-long political and health instability we live in will affect the motivation of Bulgarians to vote remains to be seen on election day.

“I want to remind you that about half of the citizens do not vote regularly,” political scientist Slavi Vasilev told BER. “This is a diagnosis in the first place for our political system. “Since half of the citizens do not choose to go to the polls because they do not see the point, this should raise the big question, what is the Bulgarian political system and why does it not arouse the interest of half the population?”

Slavi Vasilev adds that those who will go to the polls will vote based on their convictions. Some of them have already found a party that is close to their ideals. And if a government is formed after the November 14 vote, it must again be with the participation of so-called change parties, the political scientist analyzes.

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