SOFIA, April 2 (Reuters) – Bulgarians vote in their fifth parliamentary election in two years on Sunday amid growing resentment towards political elites seen by many as reluctant to tackle corruption and economic reforms.
Opinion polls show that the vote will likely leave Bulgaria again without a functioning parliamentary majority, casting doubt on its ambitions to join the eurozone any time soon and to effectively use COVID recovery aid from the European Union. .
In the running are a coalition of the centre-right GERB party of former prime minister Boyko Borissov, 63, and his small partner Union of Democratic Forces (SDS), as well as the newly established coalition of the pro-Western We Continue. the Change party (PP) and the reformist Democratic Bulgaria (DB).
“Regardless of which of the two happens first, it doesn’t solve the big question: what are the prospects of forming a government,” said Genoveva Petrova of Alpha Research.
“The parties in Bulgaria have had four interim parliaments to realize that there is no political force at the moment that not only has an absolute majority but a big enough lead to set the agenda,” Petrova added.
Voting ends at 20:00 (17:00 GMT).
The two coalitions are head to head in opinion polls, with the latest from Exacta Research Group showing them at 26.2% and 25.6%, respectively, and the nationalist Revival party at 12.8%.
Complicating coalition building are accusations by many of his political rivals that Borissov had not done enough to stop corruption in the country during his decade-long rule that ended in 2021, something Borissov denies.
“It is not normal not to have any political dialogue, there is no will… to consolidate so that things get better,” said Ivailo Atanasov, 47, in Sofia.
At stake could also be Bulgaria’s position on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Once an ally of President Vladimir Putin, Sofia has supported Kiev since Moscow launched what she calls its special military operation in Ukraine.
The two competing coalitions on Sunday want Bulgaria to maintain its pro-Ukraine stance, but President Rumen Radev, who has wielded much power during political instability, has pushed for a more nuanced approach.
Written by Justyna Pawlak; Edited by Alexander Smith and Hugh Lawson
Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.