| 28 May 2024, Tuesday |

Bulgaria’s GERB party leads ahead of Nov. 14 election- survey

Hundreds of Scottish national flags were flapping in the wind elsewhere in the crowd. Others raised the issue of climate justice and disadvantaged farmers.

A few blocks away, at the COP26 summit, which has been going on since Monday and will continue for another week, speakers spoke about how global warming is destroying farmlands and jeopardizing food security.

So far, a week of official speeches and pledges has included promises to phase out coal, limit methane emissions, and reduce deforestation. However, activists have complained that the summit has so far produced insufficient proof of progress.

Former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s GERB received 24.1 percent support, up from 23.5 percent in July, when it finished second, but still less than the 26.1 percent it received in April, according to a Gallup International opinion poll conducted in Sofia.

Analysts believe that political insecurity, fears over the pandemic and a new mandatory health pass, as well as high energy costs in the EU’s least vaccinated state, have all aided GERB in mobilizing its regional organizations and maintaining its support.

The Socialists, GERB’s primary competitor, remain a distant second with 15.6 percent support, up from 13.4 percent in the July election, according to the poll, which was conducted among 1,081 people from Oct. 23 to 31.

A new centrist anti-graft party, We Continue the Change, set up by two Harvard-educated former interim ministers, came third with 13.7% support, the survey showed.

The new faction, which analysts say has the potential to unite GERB’s opponents, may further expand its support, as most undecided voters are considering backing it, Gallup International said in a statement.

Support for the anti-establishment ITN party, which came first in the July election with 24.1%, has tumbled to 11.3%, with many Bulgarians disappointed over its failure to forge a coalition government.

In a presidential election also due to take place on Nov. 14, incumbent President Rumen Radev, a harsh critic of Borissov, is seen winning 47.6% of the vote, below the 50% needed for an outright win, the poll showed.

Radev, endorsed by the Socialists, ITN and We Continue the Change party, is likely to face Sofia University Rector Anastas Gerdzhikov, backed by GERB, in a run-off of the election for the largely ceremonial post on Nov. 21.

  • Reuters