Bulgaria‘s incumbent President Rumen Radev is heading for a second term as President. Judging by exit polls, he comes to 66 percent of the vote, much more than his challenger Anastas Gerdzhikov, who was supported by the centre-right former Prime Minister Borissov.
Last week, a new president was also voted. But because Radev didn’t get an absolute majority at that time (49.4 percent), a second election round was needed.
The presidency in Bulgaria is mainly ceremonial. In political crises, when a president can appoint interim cabinets, the president is a key figure. He can also influence public opinion.
New elections twice
The elections took place amid widespread dissatisfaction with corruption in the EU‘s poorest country. They mark an end to a twelve-year rule of Prime Minister Borissov in April.
Then the parliamentary elections took place, which Borissov with his centre-right party GERB recently won, but because the second and third parties of the country did not want to cooperate with him, new elections were held twice.
In the last elections, which were held simultaneously with the presidential elections last week, anti-corruption party PP (‘We will continue with the change‘) won by more than a quarter of the votes. Borissov came second with his party.
Radev, an outspoken critic of Borissov and a strong supporter of last year’s anti-corruption protests, has managed to get behind many Bulgarians who are fed up with corrupt politicians. He previously appointed two interim cabinets that revealed alleged corruption cases in the industrial and financial sectors.
“Let‘s not give the past a chance to torpedo our future. Let everyone take 15 minutes to vote today so that we don’t waste time for the next five years,” Radev said when he cast his vote.