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Bulgaria - Presidential Election - 13 Nov 2016

The Bulgarian presidency is largely ceremonial but he or she is still a respected figure with some influence. The West-friendly presidential incumbent, Rossen Plevneliev declined to seek another five-year term. He had been an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The presidential elections in Bulgaria were a tempting opportunity for Russia to try to drag a 'vulnerable' East European country back into its strategic orbit, Politico wrote. The newspaper asserted that Washington was concerned about a new candidate Radev. And some Jasen Bojadjiev from the Deutsche Welle mocks presidential program of the Socialists 'For Bulgaria, which we love'. The Socialists, according to him, will apologize for 'shameful' and 'treacherous' statement of the current president on annexation of Crimea, will purchase Russian aircraft, join the Eurasian Union and will 'serve the Russian authorities and interests'.

Bulgarian Socialist Party presidential candidate and former air force commander Roumen Radev may have made a significant sortie into the conspiracy theorist vote on 03 October 2016 with a promise that if concerns about chemtrails strengthen among the public we can arrange a check. The chemtrail a word made up from chemical and trail - conspiracy theory is that chemical or biological agents are sprayed at high altitudes by aircraft for sinister purposes concealed from the public. Scientists and governments repeatedly have rejected allegations that chemtrails exist, and that what is seen by the public are in fact contrails, condensation from the exhaust of high altitude aircraft. In a video posted online on YouTube of a campaign meeting, Radev is heard saying, if there is such a thing we will take steps, but at the moment I am not aware that there is such a thing such as deliberately, consciously spraying.

The results of an Alpha Research poll released on 17 October 2016 showed that GERB candidate Tsetska Tsacheva had the most support, 29.3 percent, BSP candidate Roumen Radev in second place (21.4 percent) and I dont support anyone was in third place, at 10.8 percent. If the I dont support anyone option is discounted, in third place is Krassimir Karakachanov, presidential candidate for the nationalist Patriotic Front-Ataka electoral coalition the United Patriots, with 8.7 percent. Alpha Research said that it was highly likely that the November 2016 presidential elections would go to a second-round runoff, most probably between Tsacheva and Radev.

GERB Prime Minister Boiko Borissov repeated statements that should his partys candidate not place top at the first round of the presidential elections on November 6, he and his government would resign. GERB, according to every poll, had the most support, by far, among Bulgarias electorate. It had the largest financial resources, by far, among Bulgarias political parties. The next-largest party, the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, was known to have been undergoing financial woes.

Former Bulgarian air force commander Rumen Radev won the first round of voting 06 November 2016, but failed to secure an overall majority. Radev stunned pollsters by sweeping 25.44 percent of the vote to Tsacheva's 21.96 percent in the first round of the election on November 6. A defeat for Tsacheva was an embarrassing setback for the center-right Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, a former police chief who had been premier since late 2014. Borisov had vowed to resign if his ally Tsacheva failed in the first round but later appeared to walk back that promise. New elections could plunge the EU's poorest - and certainly one of its most corrupt - members into renewed political turmoil where wages average just 480 euros ($535) a month. A victory for Radev could also see ex-communist Bulgaria, which has long walked a tightrope between Russia and the EU, tilt toward Moscow.

Radev won the decisive second round of the 13 November 2016 presidential elections in Bulgaria, exit polls by Alpha Research and Gallup International showed. Radev, 53, backed by the opposition Socialists, won 58.1-58.5 percent of the vote, compared with 35.3-35.7 percent for Tsetska Tsacheva, the 58-year-old candidate of the ruling center-right GERB party.

The win for Radev would signal a change in direction from outgoing President Rosen Pleneviev, a strong critic of Russia. Radev's election as president could see Bulgaria strengthening ties with Russia, potentially putting the country at odds with its European Union and NATO allies. Radev repeatedly insisted that "being a member of the EU and NATO does not mean that Bulgaria must be an enemy of Russia." During his election campaign, he also called for sanctions imposed on Russia over its role in the eastern Ukraine conflict to be lifted and pledged to support tougher border security to prevent an influx of migrants. While most power in the country rests with the prime minister and parliament, the president leads the armed forces and can veto legislation, sign international treaties and appoint top security and judicial officials.

Boyko Borisov announced that he will step down as Bulgarian prime minister. His resignation was prompted by the victory of Socialist ally Rumen Radev in the presidential election. The collapse of Borisov's minority government plunged the Black Sea state into months of political uncertainty and most likely triggered early elections in the spring of 2017. Halfway into its four-year term, Borisov's coalition government has managed to restore political stability after months of anti-corruption protests, but its popularity faded due to the slow pace of reforms.





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Page last modified: 13-11-2016 18:57:26 ZULU