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Second Russian nuclear power plant could unite the future government coalition

13 May 2013 / 16:05:57  GRReporter
4128 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

Four parties have entered the Bulgarian parliament after the early elections, which the country held yesterday. According to the most recent data and to 96.1% of the protocols processed, the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party wins 30.7% of the votes, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) - 27.02%, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) - 10.59% and the Attack party - 7.3%.

After these results, many commentators predict political instability, a weak government and early elections. GRReporter has contacted journalist Ivan Bedrov for a comment.

Mr. Bedrov, did the election results surprise you in any way?

No, they didn’t . The results of these elections were not surprising not only to me. They did not surprise anyone. The general impression after last night is that nothing has happened. This is very strange, because I have been observing a lot of elections and I have been almost every time at the international press centre at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, where there have always been expectations of any news, there has always been an "intrigue", as we, journalists, say. However, everything was predetermined last night. It is as if nothing has happened. But the important question is why we needed this.

How would you comment on the results and what is the reason for them?

There was a unique campaign for one month. I know that this word is a cliché, but in this case, it is correct. There has never been such a campaign. It was marked with many scandals and, as it turns out, with successful attempts to convince the voters not to go to the polling stations. In fact, we see that we had parliamentary elections in which half of the Bulgarians voted. This is not unprecedented for local elections but there has never been such a low participation in parliamentary elections.

At the same time, the major political parties had mobilized their structures and organizations, their hard electorate as it is called, and achieved some results with which they can be neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. They just achieved what we all know they can achieve.

The comparison to last year's two election races in Greece is inevitable. Greek politicians needed two rounds to understand that they need to form a coalition. And the government composed is doing very good job, especially compared to the previous one-party governments. The vote of the Bulgarian voters makes it clear that they want a coalition between GERB and the BSP. Do you think that this will happen?
I do not think that the voters want a coalition between GERB and the BSP because the polarization has been increasing over the past few months. Actually, the end result is that we have no clear dominance of one political force, although GERB is the first party, but there is an increase in the results of the two political parties in comparison with the period 2-3 months ago. So, we have this polarization, we have very sharp relations in the public speech. A coalition between the two parties is impossible at present. And part of the electorate of one side as well as of the other will not accept it either.

As for drawing a parallel with Greece, I would not agree that there is something in common. Some politicians have promoted the idea of a programme government in Bulgaria and analysts immediately think of Italy or Greece.

The difference is that there was a clear set of urgent short-term measures and reforms to be carried out in Greece. They were precisely specified even outside Greece.

The situation in Bulgaria is different. There is no clear set of measures to be implemented. The situation is normal. Someone needs to obtain political confidence to run the country. Currently, however, we are drifting towards instability. Even if a broad government including the BSP, the MRF and the Attack party is formed, strange as it may sound, it cannot be very stable. And what we can see behind it, that is common between these three parties, is the desire for the construction of a Russian nuclear power plant in the town of Belene.

What do you see happening in Bulgaria?

What I see is that GERB is in complete isolation and it is their fault. We cannot blame only the conspiracy, the rest, the Russian interests, etc. It is very hard for them to convince someone to give them additional votes or to take the risk of forming a minority government. Obviously, things are going pretty well in the BSP - MRF axis and probably the Attack party. Last night, the head of the BSP Sergey Stanishev said that he would begin negotiations with the two parties. My prediction is that it is more likely that a government involving these parties be formed.

However, there are some other options, namely that this will not happen or that if it happens it will last for a very short time because the protests in the country have continued. That means either new elections or long instability. And only those oligarchs who want to divert Bulgaria from the western path of development, rule of law, market economy and membership of NATO and the European Union will benefit from this.

Why do you think the right wing has remained outside the parliament? Why did it fail to unite before the elections and would it have been able to enter parliament if it had united?

Tags: PoliticsElectionsBulgariaRuling coalitionRight wingReformist partyRussion nuclear popwer plant
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