The double defeat of exprimer minister boulgaro Boiko Borisov and from conservative GERB of the European People’s Party in the legislative and presidential elections of November 14 indicates the desire for change in the poorest country in the European Union (EU). Borisov’s almost continuous government since 2009 has distinguished itself by the democratic deterioration, the press control, the collusion with corruption, the looting of European funds, you listen to the opposition and the normalization of the extreme right in the Executive.
Bulgaria shares with Hungary and Romania 69th out of 180 in the world ranking of the Corruption Index 2020 of Transparency International, ranking even behind Belarus (63rd). The shadow economy in Bulgaria is equivalent to 37.8% of its gross domestic product (GDP), estimates the International Monetary Fund, and corruption costs the country 22% of its GDP. Bajo Borisov, Bulgaria has fallen from 59th place in 2008 on the World Press Freedom Index to 112th in 2021. Bulgaria is listed only as “democracia semiconsolidada” by the North American organization Freedom Housey their reports detail judicial corruption and the influence of the oligarchs in government decisionsand in the control of the vote at the local level.
The technical government of management, appointed by President Rumen Radevy who has led the country since May following the inconclusive results of the legislative elections in April and July this year, has shown that it could be governed in another way. The new anti-corruption party We continue the change, founded in September by the until then Ministers of Economy and Finance of the managing Government Kiril Petkov and Asen Vasilev, won the November 14 elections with 25.3% of the votes, ahead of 22.4% of the Borisov’s folklore.
The other two parties opposed to Borisov – the centrist alliance Democratic Bulgaria and the socialist Coalition for Bulgaria – won 6.3% and 10% of the vote respectively. Singer Slavi Trifonov’s conservative populist Existe Tal Pueblo (9.4%) could join an anti-corruption coalition government, although it is unpredictable. The two remaining parties – the ultra-right Renaissance (4.8%) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (12.8%) of the Turkish minority and associated with the oligarch DelyanPeevski – seem to be discarded from a reformist coalition.
In the presidential election, Radev, who during his tenure had clashed with the government because of corruption and democratic deterioration, obtained 49.4% of the votes, compared to 22.8% of the candidate of Borisov’s popular. But it must go to the second round on November 21 due to the low level of participation (38.6% of the electorate).
The vote for change It represents a public disavowal of the policy of the European Commission and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s German Christian Democrats to support Borisov, despite the accumulation of scandals and democratic deterioration, because he is a faithful member of the European People’s Party. The latest report of the European Commission of the Bulgarian surveillance mechanism of 2019 concluded that progress was “sufficient & rdquor; to fulfill commitmentsof accession in 2007 and terminated the guardianship, despite reality indicating otherwise, including the massive sale of thousands of Bulgarian (and therefore EU) passports for 5,000 euros to foreigners, oligarchs and gangsters.
The sanctions adopted by the United States on June 2 against the Bulgarian oligarchs Vassil Bojkov and DelyanPeevski, the former director of the intelligence services Ilko Zhelyazkov, three former public officials and a network of 64 companies for “corruption & rdquor; and “undermine democratic institutions & rdquor; it exposed the EU for its passivity. At European Parliament, under the pressure of questions from MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar, the European Commission was forced to acknowledge on 16 September for the first time that it had not done its job well in Bulgaria.
German MEP Daniel Freund (Greens), after visiting Bulgaria, criticized that Ursula von der Leyen’s European Commission and the German Government had continued to protect Borisov this year and that they had not responded to requests from the Bulgarian government for help and for the dispatch of experts in the fight against corruption so as not to damage Borisov’s electoral expectations. Only the Netherlands responded to the request for help.
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