| 24 May 2024, Friday |

Bulgaria center-right party endorses university rector for President

On Friday, Bulgaria’s center-right GERB party supported a university rector to run for president in a race that would take place concurrently with parliamentary elections aimed at forming a functioning government and ending months of political instability.

GERB said that it supports Sofia Institution Rector Atanas Gerdzhikov, 58, an Ancient and Medieval Literature professor who has led Bulgaria’s most prestigious university since 2015, in his bid to unseat incumbent Rumen Radev, 58, for the presidency, which is mostly ceremonial.

“Prof. Gerdzhikov is a somebody who can bring the country together,” GERB leader Boyko Borissov told reporters. “We were pleased to learn that he will be recommended by an impartial committee, and we have chosen to back him.”

Following inconclusive polls in April and July that failed to create a government amid squabbling and rivalry among Borissov’s opponents, the nation will hold its third parliamentary election this year.

Borissov, a severe opponent of Radev, has accused him of sowing significant societal splits by publicly backing huge anti-corruption rallies against Borissov’s center-right regime in 2020.

Popular anger against widespread corruption in the European Union’s poorest member state put an end to almost a decade of political dominance by Borissov, who stood down in April after his party had ruled for most of the past decade.

Radev, who has maintained high approval ratings since he was elected in 2016, is supported by Borissov’s political opponents – the Socialists, the anti-establishment ITN party and a newly formed centrist party, We Are Continuing the Change.

Bulgaria holds votes for the presidency every five years.

  • Reuters