2017 Bulgarian parliamentary election
Parliamentary elections were held in Bulgaria on 26 March 2017. They had been scheduled for 2018 at the end of the four-year term of the National Assembly. However, following the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the failure of Bulgarian parties to form a government, early elections were called. Borisov resigned following the defeat of Tsetska Tsacheva, the candidate of his GERB party, in the November 2016 presidential elections; the official election campaign began on 24 February. GERB won a plurality, with 95 of the 240 seats. Borisov was elected Prime Minister again after negotiating a governing coalition. During the 2016 presidential election campaign, Borisov promised to resign if his party's candidate, Chairperson of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva, lost the election. On 6 November 2016 Tsacheva finished second in the first round to BSP-backed Major General Rumen Radev, receiving only 22% of the popular vote compared to Radev's 25.4%. Following the result, Borisov reiterated his promise to resign if his party's candidate lost the runoff election a week later.
On November 13, 2016, she finished a distant second with only 36.2% of the popular vote compared to Radev's 59.4%. Borisov, staying true to his campaign promise, subsequently resigned on 14 November. Two days the National Assembly voted 218–0 to accept it; the 240 members of the National Assembly are elected by closed list proportional representation from 31 multi-member constituencies ranging in size from 4 to 16 seats. The electoral threshold is 4%. Bulgarians abroad were able to vote in 371 voting sections in territories; some territories were excluded from this provision due to either security concerns or that few resident Bulgarian nationals resident in the country had submitted requests to be enabled to vote. The deadline for political parties to register for the election was 8 February 2017. Despite holding 15 seats in the Assembly, Reload Bulgaria chose not to compete in the election after being refused a name change, among other reasons; the list of registered parties is below. Percentages do not account for undecided voters.'Date' column signifies the last date of the survey in question, not the date of publication.
^ Combined result of the Patriotic Front and Attack. Five parties met the 4% threshold required to gain seats. GERB maintained their position as the largest party. Boyko Borisov appeared set to resume his tenure as Prime Minister with a coalition with the United Patriots, formed the Third Borisov Government with the United Patriots
2016 Bulgarian presidential election
Presidential elections were held in Bulgaria on 6 November 2016, alongside a referendum on changes to the electoral system and political party funding. The second round was held on 13 November 2016; the President of Bulgaria is elected using the two-round system. For the first time, voters were allowed to vote for none of the above; the incumbent President, Rosen Plevneliev, announced in May 2016 that he would not be running for re-election. Following the results of the second round, Prime Minister and GERB leader Boiko Borisov tendered his resignation. Two days on 16 November, the National Assembly voted 218–0 to accept it, resulting in early parliamentary elections
Principality of Bulgaria
The Principality of Bulgaria was a de facto independent, de jure vassal state under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. It was established by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. After the Russo-Turkish War ended with a Russian victory, the Treaty of San Stefano was signed by Russia and the Ottoman Empire on 3 March 1878. Under this, a large Bulgarian vassal state was agreed to, larger: its lands encompassed nearly all ethnic Bulgarians in the Balkans, included most of Moesia and Macedonia, stretching from the Black Sea to the Aegean. However, the United Kingdom and Austria-Hungary were against the establishment of such a large Russian client state in the Balkans, fearing it would shift the balance of power in the Mediterranean. Due to this, the great powers convened and signed the Treaty of Berlin, superseding the Treaty of San Stefano, which never went into effect; this created a much smaller principality, alongside an autonomous Eastern Rumelia within the Ottoman Empire. Although an Ottoman vassal, Bulgaria only acknowledged the authority of the Sublime Porte in a formal way.
It had its own Constitution and anthem, conducted its own foreign policy. In 1885, a bloodless revolution resulted in Eastern Rumelia being de facto annexed by Bulgaria, which the Ottoman Empire accepted with the Tophane Agreement. On 5 October 1908, Bulgaria declared its independence as the Kingdom of Bulgaria. In 1396 the Bulgarian–Ottoman Wars ended with the fall of the Bulgarian Empire, due to the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans and its own internal divisions. Under Ottoman rule, the Bulgarian nobility was destroyed and the national consciousness suppressed; the Bulgarian National Revival, emerging in the late 18th century, revived Bulgarian identity and stoked the idea of creating a new Bulgarian state. Numerous revolutionary movements and uprisings against the Ottomans occurred alongside similar movements in the rest of the Balkans, culminating in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 to 1878; the Treaty of San Stefano of March 3, 1878 proposed a Bulgarian state, which comprised the geographical regions of Moesia and Macedonia.
Based on that date Bulgarians celebrate Bulgaria's national day each year. Fearing the establishment of a large Russian client state on the Balkans, the other great powers, were not willing to agree to the treaty; as a result, the Treaty of Berlin, under the supervision of Otto von Bismarck of Germany and Benjamin Disraeli of United Kingdom, revised the earlier treaty, scaled back the proposed Bulgarian state. A autonomous Principality of Bulgaria was created, between the Danube and the Stara Planina range, with its seat at the old Bulgarian capital of Veliko Turnovo, including Sofia; this state was to be under nominal Ottoman sovereignty but was to be ruled by a prince elected by a congress of Bulgarian notables and approved by the Powers. They insisted that the Prince could not be a Russian, but in a compromise Prince Alexander of Battenberg, a nephew of Tsar Alexander II, was chosen. An autonomous Ottoman province under the name of Eastern Rumelia was created south of the Stara Planina range, whereas Macedonia was returned under the sovereignty of the Sultan.
The Bulgarians adopted an advanced democratic constitution, power soon passed to the Liberal Party led by Stefan Stambolov. Prince Alexander had conservative leanings, at first opposed Stambolov's policies, but by 1885 he had become sufficiently sympathetic to his new country to change his mind, supported the Liberals, he supported the Unification of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia, brought about by a coup in Plovdiv in September 1885. The Powers did not intervene because of the power struggles between them. Shortly after, Serbia declared war on Bulgaria in the hope of grabbing territory while the Bulgarians were distracted; the Bulgarians defeated them at Slivnitsa, pushed the Serbian army into Serbia and succeeded to re-conquer the seized by the Berlin Treaty Bulgarian populated towns of Pirot and Vranya, but they were given back to Serbia with the Treaty of Bucharest in 1886. These events made Alexander popular in Bulgaria, but Russia was dissatisfied at the liberal tendencies under his reign.
In August 1886 they fomented a coup, in the course of which Alexander was forced to abdicate and was exiled to Russia. Stambolov, however and the participants in the coup were forced to flee the country. Stambolov tried to reinstate Alexander, but strong Russian opposition forced the prince to abdicate again. In July 1887 the Bulgarians elected Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha as their new Prince. Ferdinand was the "Austrian candidate" and the Russians refused to recognise him. Ferdinand worked with Stambolov, but by 1894 their relationship worsened. Stambolov resigned and was assassinated in July 1895. Ferdinand decided to restore relations with Russia, which meant returning to a conservative policy. There was a substantial Bulgarian population still living under Ottoman rule in Macedonia. To complicate matters and Greece too made claims over parts of Macedonia, while Serbia, as a Slavic nation considered Macedonians as belonging to Serbian nation, thus began a five-sided struggle for control of these areas which lasted until World War I.
In 1903 there was a Bulgarian insurrection in Ottoman Macedonia and war seemed likely. In 1908 Ferdinand used the struggles between the Great Powers to declare Bulgaria a independent kingdom, with himself as Tsar, which he did on 5 October in the Holy Forty Martyrs Church, Veliko Tarnovo; the main external political problem confronting Bulgaria throughout the perio
2014 Bulgarian parliamentary election
Parliamentary elections were held in Bulgaria on 5 October 2014 to elect the 43rd National Assembly. GERB remained the largest party. A total of eight parties won seats, the first time since the beginning of democratic elections in 1990 that more than seven parties entered parliament. Boyko Borisov became prime minister as head of a coalition with the Reformist Bloc and with outside support from the Patriotic Front and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival. After the 2013 election, the seat distribution was such that the new coalition government, composed of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and led by Plamen Oresharski, had only half the seats in Parliament, thus prospects of holding early elections were significant; the Oresharski cabinet was confronted by a series of protests starting on 14 June 2013, in response to the election of Delyan Peevski as head of the Bulgarian state security agency DANS. Following the setback suffered by the BSP in the European Parliament election - having picked up 18.94% of the popular vote - opposition parties called for early parliamentary elections.
The leader of the DPS expressed his desire to have the government resign so that early elections can be scheduled for the end of 2014 or the middle of 2015. On 10 June 2014 the leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Sergei Stanishev, demanded the resignation of the government: "We cannot have the responsibility for the existence and actions of this government by ourselves." Following an agreement from the three largest parties to hold early parliamentary elections for 5 October 2014, the cabinet was to resign by the end of July. On Wednesday July 23, Oresharski's government submitted its resignation; the next day parliament voted 180 -- 8. After each party refused to try to form a new government, on 6 August a caretaker government led by Georgi Bliznashki was sworn into office and the 42nd National Assembly was dissolved with an election date set for 5 October. Twenty-two parties and seven coalitions registered to run on election day before the deadline. Two parties were denied registration.
The election campaign started on 5 September. Following his party's election victory, Borisov stated that his party would try to form the next government and that he "want to govern, in person"; the newly elected Assembly met for the first time on 27 October. After being tasked by President Rosen Plevneliev to form a government, Borisov's GERB allied with the Reformist Bloc to form a government and had the outside support of the Patriotic Front and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival; the cabinet of twenty ministers was approved by a majority of 136-97. Borisov was chosen as prime minister by an larger vote of 149-85
Foreign relations of Bulgaria
Foreign relations of the Republic of Bulgaria are the Bulgarian government's external relations with the outside world. Bulgaria has good foreign relations with its neighbors and has proved to be a constructive force in the region under socialist and democratic governments alike. Promoting regional stability, Bulgaria hosted a Southeast European Foreign Ministers meeting in July 1996, an OSCE conference on Black Sea cooperation in November 1995. Bulgaria participated in the 1996 South Balkan Defense Ministerial in Albania and is active in the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative. Bulgaria's main focus is the Euro-Atlantic integration since 1997 and the efforts of the governments since led to admission to NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007, its main allies are Greece and Romania, while it maintains good relations with Serbia and the rest of the Balkans. Republic of Macedonia is important state in Bulgarian foreign and internal policy due to the historical and cultural connections.
With their close historical and economic ties, Bulgaria seeks a mutually beneficial relationship with Russia, on which it is dependent for energy supplies. Sporadic negotiations are underway among Greece and Russia for construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline to transport Caspian Sea oil from the Black Sea port of Burgas to Alexandroupoli on the northern Aegean coast. Bulgaria's EU Association Agreement came into effect in 1994, Bulgaria formally applied for full EU membership in December 1995. During the 1999 EU summit in Helsinki, the country was invited to start membership talks with the Union. On January 1, 2007 Bulgaria became a member of the European Union. In 1996, Bulgaria acceded to the Wassenaar Arrangement controlling exports of weapons and sensitive technology to countries of concern and was admitted to the World Trade Organization. Bulgaria is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. After a period of equivocation under a socialist government, in March 1997 a UDF-led caretaker cabinet applied for full NATO membership, which became a reality in April 2004.
Bulgaria and the United States signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement in 2006 providing for military bases and training camps of the U. S. Army in Bulgaria, as part of the Pentagon's restructuring plan; the HIV trial in Libya resulted in the release of Bulgarian nurses imprisoned by Muammar Gaddafi's government in Libya. French President Nicolas Sarkozy secured the release in exchange for several business deals. In November 2010, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov formally announced his team proposes to close seven embassies as part of a plan for restructuring and austerity measures. Thus, in 2011, Bulgaria will most shut down its diplomatic missions in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Thailand and Tunisia; the choice is based on a scrutinizing financial analysis and on the necessity to optimize the diplomatic corps, the Ministry says. The staff of the Bulgarian diplomatic corps will be reduced by 15 people in total. In June 2010, media reports claimed that Bulgaria considers closing a total of 30 of its diplomatic missions abroad.
Bulgaria has 83 embassies, 6 permanent representations, 20 consular offices, 2 diplomatic bureaus. The proposed closures have been backed by PM Borisov who described some of Bulgaria's embassies as useless. Bulgaria joined NATO's Partnership for Peace in 1994 and applied for NATO membership in 1997. During the November 2002 Prague Summit Bulgaria was one of seven former socialist countries invited to join the Alliance. Bulgaria became a member of NATO in March 2004; the country is working toward NATO compatibility in communications and training, has established a Peacekeeping Training Center. In 2003, Bulgaria was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, proving to be one of 3 closest U. S. allies during the Iraqi Crisis, together with the Spain. Bulgaria presided the OSCE in 2004. Major European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and, to a lesser degree, South American cocaine for the European market. List of diplomatic missions in Bulgaria List of diplomatic missions of Bulgaria List of joint US-Bulgarian military bases Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Movement for Rights and Freedoms
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms is a centrist political party in Bulgaria. It is a member of the Liberal International and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party, is a liberal party, whose main goal are the interests of the Muslims Turks. However, its principal electorate are the Pomaks and the party relies on the biggest share of all the Romani voters 9 out of its 36 deputies are not of Muslim background. At the 2014 parliamentary elections, 3% of Bulgarian voters, 83% of Turkish voters and 44% of Romani voters voted for the movement, a record high share of Romani voters; the party won in Christian Romani villages and thus was alleged for trading with their vote. The party was established in 1990, but the official website of the party traces the roots of the foundation to 1983 when an illegal terrorist group Turkish National Freedom Movement was established, which committed over 50 fire-raisings, bomb attempts and murders on regular citizens until 1989 as a rebellion against the assimilation policies of Todor Zhivkov's communist regime.
After he had been set free out of the jail in 1989, Ahmed Dogan, a former member of the Bulgarian communist secret service, established the party. He headed it from its official establishment on 4 January 1990 until 19 January 2013, when a disgruntled Bulgarian Turk attacked him with a gas pistol. Ahmed Dogan has been recorded promoting changes of the international boundaries in accordance with the ethnic borders, clarifying that there are either peaceful and political means for this or military and aggressive; the ethnic or religious minority parties are not allowed according to Article 11, Paragraph 4 of the Constitution of Bulgaria, but the Constitutional Court denied to ban the party in 1992. On 19 January 2013, Lyutfi Mestan was elected as the second chairman of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. Mestan was removed from power by the insistence of the founder Dogan because he had declared support for Turkey for the shot Russian airplane Erdoğan blacklisted Ahmed Dogan banning him from entering Turkey.
Mestan formed his own party, named Democrats for Responsibility and Tolerance. Starting in 1990 as the first political party of the Muslim minority participating in the parliamentary elections, in the first elections in 1990 after the end of the communist regime, which the Muslims had boycotted, the party won 6.0% of the popular vote and 24 out of 400 seats and became the fourth largest party in the parliament. In the parliamentary elections in 1991 it won 7.6% of the vote and remained with 24 seats in а 240-seater parliament. In the elections in 1994 it won 5.4% of the vote and its seats decreased to 15. In the elections in 1997 it won 19 out of 240 seats. From 2001 to 2009, the party was part of the government, first in a coalition with the National Movement Simeon II party and with the Bulgarian Socialist Party; the party had ministers in the Sakskoburggotski Government, Stanishev Government and Oresharski Government. It won in the elections in 21 out of 240 seats. Subsequently, for the first time the party joined a coalition government, led by the winner of the elections.
Under the control of the party were two out of the 17 Bulgarian ministries – the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and the Minister without portfolio, the other 15 remained under the control of senior coalition partner NDSV. At the 2005 elections it increased to 12.8% of vote and 34 out of 240 seats and was kept in power as a part of the coalition led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party and National Movement Simeon II party. The ministries under the control of the Movement of Rights and Freedoms increased to three out of 18. At the 2009 elections it increased to 37 out of 240 seats. Following the election, the government was occupied by the decisive winner, the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms was еxcluded from the government and remained in opposition after having been part of coalition governments for the two consecutive preceding terms between 2001 and 2009. At the 2009 European Parliament elections the party won 14.1% of the vote and three MEPs out of Bulgaria's total representation of 18.
Two of the MEPs are ethnic Turks and one is ethnic Bulgarian. In the Bulgarian parliamentary election in 2013, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms decreased to 11.3% of the vote. The DPS won the elections abroad with 41.3% and the most polling stations and voters in a foreign country were in Turkey. The DPS won four MEPs in the 2014 European Parliament elections. On 8 October 1991, ninety-three members of Bulgaria's National Assembly — all of them affiliated with the former Communist Party — asked the constitutional court to declare the DPS unconstitutional citing article 11.4 of the constitution which explicitly bans political parties "formed on ethnic and religious basis". On 21 April 1992, the court rejected the petition and affirmed the constitutionality of the DPS. Though the DPS has been a part of Bulgarian political life since some Bulgarian nationalists the far-right National Union Attack, continue to assert that it is anti-constitutional because it consists of ethnic Turks. However, the statute of the DPS states quite that it "is an independent public and political organization, founded with the purpose of contributing to the
Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva-Kinova is a Bulgarian economic analyst serving as Chief Executive of the World Bank since 2017. She served as Acting President of the World Bank Group from 1 February 2019 to 8 April 2019, she served as Vice-President of the European Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker from 2014 to 2016. From 1993–2010, she served in a number of positions in the World Bank Group rising to become its vice president and corporate secretary in March 2008, she has served as a member of the board of trustees and associated professor in the Economics Department of the University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria. On 27 September 2016, the Bulgarian government nominated Kristalina Georgieva for the post of United Nations Secretary-General, her short run Secretary-General at the UN ended following a vote at the UN Security Council on 5 October, where Georgieva ranked number eight out of ten candidates. In the same vote, António Guterres got the support of the Security Council for the post of UN Secretary-General.
On 28 October, the World Bank announced that Georgieva would become the first CEO of the bank starting on 2 January 2017. Georgieva was named "European of the Year" in 2010 and "EU Commissioner of the Year" as an acknowledgment of her work, in particular, her handling of the humanitarian disasters in Haiti and Pakistan, she had been nominated among the candidates for the category "Commissioner of the Year", the prestigious award organized by the European Voice newspaper. Kristalina Georgieva holds a PhD in Economics and an MA in Political Economy and Sociology from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, her thesis was on "Environmental Protection Policy and Economic Growth in the USA". She did post-graduate research and studies in natural resource economics and environmental policy at the London School of Economics in the late 1980s and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she has written over 100 academic papers and has authored a microeconomics textbook. She held a range of academic and consulting positions in Bulgaria and the US, has lectured on development topics in universities, including the Australian National University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tsinghua University, Yale University, Harvard University, London School of Economics, the University of the South Pacific and others.
Georgieva is fluent in Bulgarian and Russian, can speak some French. Georgieva started her career at the World Bank Group in 1993 as an environmental economist for Europe and Central Asia. Following this, she served in various positions in the bank rising to become Director of the Environment Department in charge of World Bank's environmental strategy and lending. In this role she oversaw around 60% of lending operations of the World Bank Group. From 2004–2007 she was the institution's Director and Resident Representative in the Russian Federation, based in Moscow, she returned to Washington DC, to become director of Strategy and Operations, Sustainable Development. Her final position at the World Bank, vice president and corporate secretary, conveyed lead responsibility for liaison with the members of the institution's Board of Executive Directors, representing the Bank's shareholders. During that time, she worked on accompanying capital increase. In January 2010, Georgieva announced her intention to resign from this post in view of her nomination to the Commission of the European Union.
Nomination and confirmation After the former Bulgarian nominee, Rumiana Jeleva, came under fire during the confirmation hearing from members of the European Parliament over both her competence for the post and allegations of gaps in her declaration of financial interests, she withdrew her bid. The Bulgarian government proposed Kristalina Georgieva as their new candidate. On 21 January 2010 the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso met with Georgieva and expressed his approval, stating that "Mrs. Georgieva has solid international experience and knowledge with which she is going to contribute in her capacity as a EU Commissioner"; the confirmation hearing of Georgieva took place at the European Parliament on 4 February 2010. She faced questions on her suitability for the portfolio. Georgieva identified Haiti as a priority the need to provide shelter and health services and to restore the functions and service of the government, so as to start work on reconstruction and long-term development.
Other key issues raised in discussions with MEPs had been improving co-ordination within the EU, between humanitarian and military players in order to meet the dual challenge posed by expanding needs and shrinking budgets. The need to improve the effectiveness of EU actions and for better response capacity had been stressed, together with the establishment of European Voluntary Humanitarian Corps. Georgieva was given a warm response by MEPs, with Labour MEP Michael Cashman praising her "honesty and deep breadth of knowledge", she was applauded by committee members when she told British Conservative MEP Nirj Deva that she would stand up for the interests of the EU and be an independent mind. Ivo Vajgl, a Liberal MEP praised her, saying: "let me compliment you on your peaceful manner and the confidence you are exuding today", her performance at the hearing was publicized in Bulgaria and broadcast live on many national media, where it was seen as question of restoration of national honor following Jeleva's unsuccessful hearing.
The second college of the Barroso Commission, including Georgieva, was approved by the European Parliament on 9 February 2010