Bulgaria's 'Badman' Wins Parliamentary Poll

Monday, July 6, 2009 | Tag Cloud

Bulgaria's Opposition Wins Parliamentary Poll

By Stefan Bos
Budapest
06 July 2009
Bulgaria's center-right opposition party says it will start coalition talks after winning the country's first parliamentary elections since the country joined the European Union. The governing Socialists were defeated following several corruption scandals and concerns over the economy.
Sofia mayor and leader of Bulgaria's center-right party (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) party, Boiko Borisov, left, hugs a supporter in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, 06 July 2009
Bulgaria's next prime minister is expected to be Sofia mayor and former bodyguard Boiko Borisov.
With most votes counted, Mr. Borisov's center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party (GERB) is expected to receive about 120 parliamentary seats, but one seat short of a majority.
The 50-year-old Mr. Borisov has told reporters he wants to start talks later Monday with at least one smaller party on forming a coalition that he says will tackle corruption and the ailing economy.
Negotiations are also expected with the Blue Coalition, a grouping of rightist parties, which has received about 16 seats.
In addition, Mr. Borisov has pledged to end ethnic tensions in the troubled country. He says we want to treat equally both Christians and Muslims and all ethnic groups who live in Bulgaria. And Mr. Borisov adds: "Anyone who raises the question of Bulgaria's ethnic map works against democracy and the Bulgarian citizens."
Mr. Borisov's center-right party defeated the ruling Socialist-led coalition, which has been plagued by corruption scandals . Even Sunday's ballot was overshadowed by reports of vote buying.
Last year the European Union froze about $800 million in aid for the Balkan nation of nearly eight million people.
With his party set to pick up just over 40 of Parliament's 240 seats, the embattled Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev has admitted defeat at a news conference.
Mr. Stanishev says he accepts with respect the choice of the Bulgarian citizens. He says the results mean hardship and a serious loss for the coalition and the Bulgarian Socialist Party.
Yet, Bulgaria's incoming government leader has his work already cut out for him.
The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, recently lifted a suspension of some 115 million euros, or $160 million, for a highway project and technical assistance. But the commissioner for regional policy, Danuta Hubner, says Bulgaria has to do more to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.
"This decision [to lift the suspension] is also on our side a strong encouragement for Bulgaria to strengthen and to extend the efforts in all areas where funds are still suspended," said Hubner. "And that we have for the future a system that is protecting also the EU funding from any improper or irregular use. "
Analysts say the new government must also quickly tackle economic policy issues to attract investors, many of whom fled this year, in part because of the global financial crisis.
Mr. Borisov has promised to address the economic troubles, and talks are expected with the International Monetary Fund on a loan arrangement for the EU's poorest nation.
Sunday's ballot was the first parliamentary election since Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007.

By Stefan J. Bos, Worthy News Europe Bureau Chief

Bos report
Download  (MP3)

SOFIA, BULGARIA (Worthy News) -- Bulgaria's main center-right opposition party said Monday, July 6, it would launch coalition talks after winning the country's first parliamentary elections since it joined the European Union in 2007. The governing Socialists were defeated following several corruption scandals and concerns over the economy.

Bulgaria's next prime minister is expected to be Sofia mayor and former bodyguard Boiko Borisov, who has been nicknamed 'Badman', after the famous cartoon character, because of his tough talk on the country's endemic corruption.

With most votes counted, Borisov's center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party (GERB) is expected to receive about 120 parliamentary seats, but one seat short of a majority.

The 50-year-old Borisov has told reporters he wants to start talks later Monday with at least one smaller party on forming a coalition that he says will tackle corruption and the ailing economy.

Negotiations are also expected with the Blue Coalition, a grouping of rightist parties, which has received about 16 seats.

ETHNIC TENSIONS

In addition, Borisov has pledged to end ethnic tensions in the troubled country. "We want to treat equally both Christians and Muslims and all ethnic groups who live in Bulgaria," he said. "Anyone who raises the question of Bulgaria's ethnic map works against democracy and the Bulgarian citizens."

Borisov's center-right party defeated the ruling Socialist-led coalition, which has been plagued by corruption scandals . Even Sunday's ballot was overshadowed by reports of vote buying.

Last year the European Union froze about 500 million euros, or $800 million, in aid for the Balkan nation of nearly eight million people.

With his party set to pick up just over 40 of Parliament's 240 seats, the embattled Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev has admitted defeat at a news conference.

"Regarding the results, I respect the choice of the Bulgarian citizens," he said. "The results mean hardship and a serious loss for the coalition and the Bulgarian Socialist Party."

EU CONCERNS

Yet, Bulgaria's incoming government leader has his work already cut out for him. The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, recently lifted a suspension of some 115 million euros, or $160 million, for a highway project and technical assistance.

But the commissioner for regional policy, Danuta Hubner, warned that Bulgaria has to do more to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.

"This decision [to lift the suspension] is also on our side a strong encouragement for Bulgaria to strengthen and to extend the efforts in all areas where funds are still suspended," she added. "And that we have for the future a system that is protecting also the EU funding from any improper or irregular use. "

Analysts say the new government must also quickly tackle economic policy issues to attract investors, many of whom fled this year, in part because of the global financial crisis.

Borisov has promised to address the economic troubles, and talks are expected with the International Monetary Fund on a loan arrangement for the EU's poorest nation. (Part of this Worthy News' story also airs on the Voice of America (VOA) network).

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1 thought on “Bulgaria's 'Badman' Wins Parliamentary Poll”

  1. {{{... has pledged to end ethnic tensions in the troubled country ...}}}

    Peace

    "I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners."
    "I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him."
    Isaiah 57:18-19

    Is The One

    "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt."
    "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."
    Isaiah 57:20-21

    Whom God Loves

    "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand."
    "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
    John 3:35-36

    The One Who Believes In The SON

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
    John 3:16

    See Jesus And Believe And Be Blessed Beloved
    Love, Joe

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