Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • 24 killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • Prosecutor says captives were killed for organ harvesting in Kosovo

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fuel fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

Europe

Opposition party looks to be victor in legislative elections

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-06

Exit polls showed Bulgaria's opposition GERB party to be the victor in legislative elections on Sunday, ousting the ruling Socialist party. The Socialists conceded defeat after winning just 17.1-18.5 percent of the vote and 39 seats.

AFP - Bulgaria's centre-right opposition party GERB claimed victory in the general election Sunday, as exit polls showed a stinging defeat for Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev and his Socialist party.
   
Speaking after exit polls showed GERB winning 39.7-41.8 percent of the vote and as many as 119 seats in the 240-seat parliament, Borisov told bTV television he had dealt a "smashing, annihilating" defeat to the Socialists, who have ruled for the past four years.
   
"We have to form a government as soon as possible," Borisov said, adding that he would seek one or more allies from a range of smaller centre-right parties.
   
Borisov, a former bodyguard with a tough-guy image who has promised to crack down on corruption in the EU's poorest member, said "we'll wait and see what the final results are, and the distribution of parliamentary seats. Then we'll analyse what options we have."
   
The Socialists conceded defeat after winning just 17.1-18.5 percent of the vote and 39 seats.
   
Their foreign minister, Ivaylo Kalfin, said: "GERB obviously won a convincing election victory and we have to congratulate them on this."
   
GERB's most likely partner, the Blue Coalition of two small UDF and DSB parties, secured 6.4-8.2 percent of votes and 14 seats.
   
Another possible ally for GERB, the right-wing Order, Lawfulness, Justice party secured 4.1-4.6 percent and 10 seats.
   
In the run-up to vote, Borisov had been openly sceptical about any power-sharing deals, saying smaller coalition partners could seek to hold GERB hostage.
   
But faced with no clear majority to govern alone, he said he would invite them for talks Sunday.
   
"I hope that the smaller parties will remember that people put their trust in us and so we'll be the ones to shoulder (the main) responsibility" in the government," he said.
   
The first partial official results are expected early Monday with a final count due later this week.
   
Analysts said that if the results were confirmed, a hung parliament and post-election stalemate will have been avoided.
   
"GERB will not be able to form a government on its own, but will manage with one or two smaller allies," said Gallup analyst Andrey Raychev.
   
The leaders of the smaller right-wing parties congratulated GERB and urged it to take the support they were offering.
   
Yane Yanev, the leader of the OLJ (Order, Lawfulness, Justice) party said: "We will not necessarily seek ministerial jobs in the next government. We are happy being in the legislature. But we will support a government led by GERB."
   
With 6.8 million Bulgarians eligible to vote, turnout was 60.2 percent, up from 55.76 percent in 2005.
   
The new government faces daunting challenges: the economic crisis and Bulgaria's image of being the EU's most corruption-ridden member.
   
Indeed, vote-buying allegations marred the election itself, despite a huge awareness campaign and the introduction of heavy fines and jail terms for people found guilty of accepting or offering bribes for votes.
   
A new phenomenon this time around was the number of suspected criminals, some already on trial, who ran for parliament.
   
Taking advantage of the country's immunity laws, which automatically suspend any court proceedings for political candidates until the end of their term in office if elected, a number of businessmen with dubious reputations vied to become lawmakers.
   
One such example were the so-called Galev brothers, Plamen Galev and Angel Hristov. Both are under investigation for racketeering, but were released from custody as soon as they registered as candidates.
   
It was not yet clear whether either of them had actually managed to be elected.
   
The OSCE sent observers to monitor the vote for the first time in years.
 

Date created : 2009-07-05

COMMENT(S)