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Purple party leads in Bulgarian elections

Purple party leads in Bulgarian elections

The Continue to Change (PP) party received nearly 26 percent of the vote, according to three large polling stations. The party was founded two weeks ago by two people who studied at Harvard American University.

fight corruption

Leaders Kirill Petkov and Asin Vasiliev, both in their 40s, went to the polls with promises to fight corruption, increase the transparency of social functions and demands for what the two call fundamental social reforms.

This seems to resonate with the 6.7 million eligible voters in Bulgaria.

But it is not clear whether Bulgaria can break the current parliamentary impasse. The party of former prime minister, Bogko Borisov, got just under 24 percent, according to the same polls.

Corruption in focus

Consider opportunities to try to form a small government. The party won the last general election in April, but was then unable to muster a majority in Parliament. The main obstacle in the search for allies is the investigation of the leader Borisov for corruption.

The populist party ITN (whose name roughly means “there is such a people”), led by musician and TV personality Slavy Trifonov, was by far the largest in the last election in July. After a series of disagreements, the party chose to stand completely outside all government negotiations, and its support has since fallen like a stone.

The elections include 240 seats in the country’s parliament.

In addition to parliamentary elections, presidential elections will be held. The current president, Romain Radev of the Socialist Party, initially received 49 percent of the vote in the first round.

Election workers in protective gear collect votes at voters’ homes in Sofia. Photo: Valentina Petrova/AP/TT

Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov is under investigation for corruption, but he hopes to back down.  Here he votes in Sofia.

Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov is under investigation for corruption, but he hopes to back down. Here he votes in Sofia. Photo: Giannis Papanikos/AP/TT

Facts: Bulgaria

Bulgaria is the poorest member state of the European Union in terms of per capita GDP. The country has a population of about 7 million, 1.2 million of whom live in the capital, Sofia. On the surface, Bulgaria is roughly the size of Lapland Province.

After a prolonged obedience to the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria regained its independence in 1878. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Bulgaria became a member of the NATO defense alliance in 2004 and in the European Union as of January 1, 2007.

The President is Rumen Radev (born in 1963) who is officially independent but supported by the Socialist Party.

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