Bul­ga­ria PM re­signs af­ter par­ty de­fea­ted in pre­si­den­ti­al poll

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

BUL­GA­RIA - Bul­ga­ria’s pri­me mi­nis­ter has hand­ed in his re­sig­na­ti­on to par­li­a­ment af­ter re­sults showed his par­ty los­ing bad­ly in the pre­si­den­ti­al runoff, ope­ning the way for an ear­ly par­li­a­men­ta­ry elec­ti­on.

Boi­ko Bo­risov’s mo­ve co­mes af­ter of­fi­ci­al re­sults show the So­ci­a­list-back­ed can­di­da­te Ru­men Ra­dev, who cam­paig­ned on an an­ti-mi­grant, pro-Mo­scow mes­sa­ge, win­ning the pre­si­den­ti­al elec­ti­on. “We ac­cept the will of the pe­o­p­le and we con­gra­tu­la­te tho­se who ha­ve the sup­port of the ma­jo­ri­ty of the vo­ters,” said Bo­risov, who­se par­ty had pre­vious­ly tri­ump­hed in na­ti­o­nal elec­ti­ons over the last de­ca­de. Half­way in­to its fou­ryear term, Bo­risov’s co­a­li­ti­on govern­ment has res­to­red po­li­ti­cal sta­bi­li­ty af­ter months of an­ti-cor­rup­ti­on pro­tests. But its po­pu­la­ri­ty has fa­ded be­cau­se of the slow pa­ce of re­forms to eli­mi­na­te graft and po­ver­ty, and over­haul the ju­di­ci­al sy­s­tem. Ra­dev cal­l­ed the re­sult “a ne­ga­ti­ve vo­te for the govern­ment that leads to a new po­li­ti­cal si­tu­a­ti­on”. The cen­tral elec­ti­on com­mis­si­on said that with 99.3% of the bal­lots coun­ted, Ra­dev won 59.4% of the vo­te, com­pa­red with 36.2% for the can­di­da­te of the ru­ling cen­tre-right par­ty, Tsets­ka Tsa­che­va. Ra­dev, who will ta­ke of­fi­ce for a fi­ve-year term on 22 Ja­nu­a­ry, will fa­ce a pos­si­ble ri­se in the num­ber of mi­grants from neigh­bo­ring Tur­key and gro­wing ten­si­ons bet­ween Rus­sia and the west. Ra­dev, a po­li­ti­cal no­vi­ce, at­trac­ted ma­ny Bul­ga­ri­ans who are fed up with cor­rupt po­li­ti­cians. The for­mer Na­to figh­ter pi­lot, who stu­died at the US Air War Col­le­ge in Ala­ba­ma, has pled­ged to main­tain Bul­ga­ria’s pla­ce in Na­to but al­so says “being pro-Eu­ro­pean doe­sn’t mean being an­ti-Rus­si­an”.

“Du­ring his elec­ti­on cam­paign, the US pre­si­dent-elect said ca­te­go­ri­cally that he is go­ing to ha­ve a dee­per dia­lo­gue with Rus­sia,” Ra­dev said af­ter the vo­te. He ad­ded that “it gi­ves strong ho­pe for a pea­ce­ful so­lu­ti­on of the con­flicts in Sy­ria and in Ukrai­ne, and re­du­cing con­fron­ta­ti­on”. In ne­ar­by Mol­do­va, a proRus­sia can­di­da­te de­cla­red vic­to­ry in the coun­try’s pre­si­den­ti­al elec­ti­on, al­so on Sun­day. Igor Do­don has pled­ged to res­to­re tra­de and po­li­ti­cal re­la­ti­ons with Mo­scow, which coo­l­ed af­ter Mol­do­va sig­ned a tra­de as­so­ci­a­ti­on agree­ment with the Eu­ro­pean Union. Di­mi­tar Be­chev, a po­li­ti­cal ana­lyst, said: “The­re will be no shor­ta­ge of dra­ma in Bul­ga­ria over the co­ming months, to be su­re, but it will be dri­ven by lo­cal for­ces, not the ge­o­po­li­ti­cal con­test bet­ween Rus­sia and the west.”


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