Three Cheers for Democracy
1 December 2021
Bulgarians will have yet another chance to change the course of the country in elections held mid-November while Belarus and Russia are set to integrate further later in the week. The weather has yet to turn cold, but energy is already playing a key role in both the economy and politics of the region with gas flows from Russia greatly reduced.
Main takeaways for November:
It has been a turbulent year across the region, but nowhere more so than in Bulgaria, which has been caught in a political quagmire. In April, former-PM Borisov was forced to step down after nearly twelve years in office (albeit not continuously). His party GERB had an upset loss after massive public anti-corruption protests led to a boost for new parties and those in the opposition. However, no coalition was feasible as the diverse landscape in Sofia led to a technocratic government that enacted changes to the election law many saw as unfairly benefitting Borisov’s party. Even after these procedural changes were enacted, a similar electoral situation repeated itself in July, suggesting that the supporters for the parties are more recalcitrant than initially thought.
Now, with Bulgaria’s third attempt at voting for a new government just days away (14 November), GERB is still the leading party (by a large margin) in recent polls due to a new, centrist party ‘We Continue the Change’, which has syphoned off votes from the previous election winner ‘There Is Such a People’.