Bulgaria’s current president set to make gains in anti-corruption campaign

Bulgaria's current president set to make gains in anti-corruption campaign

The current Bulgarian President Rumen Radev is heading for a second term as president. According to opinion polls, he received 66 percent of the vote, ahead of his opponent, Anastas Gerdzhikov, who was supported by the center-right former Prime Minister Borisov.

And there was a vote last week to choose a new president. But because Radev did not achieve an absolute majority (49.4 percent), a second round of elections was necessary.

The presidency in Bulgaria is mainly ceremonial. In political crises, when the president can appoint temporary governments, the president is a key figure. It can also influence public opinion.

Two new elections

The elections took place amid widespread discontent with corruption in the EU’s poorest country. They mark the end of Prime Minister Borisov’s 12-year rule in April.

Then parliamentary elections were held, in which Borisov narrowly won with his center-right party GERB, but due to the unwillingness of the second and third parties of the country to cooperate with him, new elections were held twice.

In the last elections, which were held at the same time as the presidential elections last week, the anti-corruption party PP (“We continue to change”) won more than a quarter of the vote. Borisov came second with his party.

Corrupt Politicians

Radev, an outspoken critic of Borisov and a vocal supporter of anti-corruption protests last year, has taken over many Bulgarians who are tired of corrupt politicians. He had earlier appointed two interim governments that exposed alleged corruption cases in the industrial and financial sectors.

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“Let’s not give the past a chance to sabotage our future,” Radev said as he cast his vote. “Let’s leave everyone 15 minutes today to vote so that we don’t waste time in the next five years.”

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