Presidential Run-off and The Unsuccessful Referendum
Gen. Rumen Radev, nomination committee represented by Stefan Danailov, and Tsetska Tsacheva, political party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, are going on a second round run-off on Nov. 13.
Radev gets 25.44 percent of the votes in the first round in the presidential election, which means that 973,511 people voted for him. Tsacheva receives the support of 21.96 percent of voters, or 840,525 votes.
Radev and Tsacheva had a debate broadcasted and organized by the Bulgarian National Television on Nov. 10. The topics of the questions were determined after consultation with voters who have not decided who to support. For the Bulgarian citizens it is important to know the candidates’ foreign policy priorities, the judicial reform, the team that the president will form, addressing issues dividing the nation, actions against the cartels and the monopolies. The whole debate is available on the Bulgarian National Television’s website.
Georgi Georgiev, a second-year student, said that the Bulgarian president should work in favor of the national interests and he or she should be a “bulgarophile”. The everyday challenges that the president will face are “security, integrity with the international organizations and development of civil society within our borders,” according to him.
“Furthermore, Bulgaria is a multi-nation state. Thus, the president should be a unificator for people from different ethnicities and backgrounds… the president should be representative and open to communication with other leaders,” Georgiev said.
After the counting of the votes for the referendum, on a press conference of the Central Election Commission today, Nov. 11, the institution announced that the voting for the referendum to change the electoral system is short of 12,027 votes to pass for a mandatory action. The final decision remains in the hands of the Bulgarian parliament.
Filip Mishev, a second-year student, said that the difference in the votes is not a significant one and the referendum should be voted on in the Bulgarian parliament. “The fact that people vote on it should be more than enough for politicians to see than change is needed. They are the ones who should have led the change,” he added.
According to Aleksandra Domozetska, a third-year student, the referendum should be voted on in the parliament and it should bring a change the electoral system, since “it will be disrespectful if they just decided not to be”.
On the first question in the referendum: “Do you support the deputies to be elected by majoritarian electoral system with an absolute majority in two rounds?”, 71.94 percent of the people voted with “YES”. On the question of introducing mandatory voting in the elections and referenda, 61.89 percent voted with “YES”. Regarding reducing the subsidy for parties to 1 BGN for each voice, 72.16 percent of the Bulgarian citizens agree.
For reference and additional information, check the Central Election Commission’s website.
In reaction to the results, the initiator of the referendum, Slavi Trifonov, wrote in an open letter on Nov. 8 that the commission “performs monstrous manipulation of vote”. He states that 3,501,220 Bulgarian citizens voted in the referendum. Undertaking a mandatory referendum decision requires 3,500,585 votes.
“Central Election Commission wants to pull out 13,792 votes, to announce an optional referendum. This is a violation of the law,” Trifonov wrote.
On Nov. 9, the Central Election Commission published an official release to all media stating that it “continues to fulfill its powers in establishing the results of the national referendum, including analysis of numerical data records and analysis of discrepancies.”