“Financial Times”: The Bulgarians gave an unexpected impetus to a new centrist force

The leaders of “We continue the change” Kiril Petkov and Asen Vassilev embrace late Sunday night, confident that they are the first in the elections. PHOTO: NIKOLAI LITOV

“A new centrist party is making a breakthrough in the elections.” With this headline, the British newspaper “Financial Times” published today a report dedicated to the elections in Bulgaria. The author notes that the leaders of “Continuing Change” Kiril Petkov and Asen Vassilev are graduates of Harvard and have built their reputation as ministers in the caretaker government.

In yesterday’s election, Bulgarians gave an unexpected electoral boost to the new centrist political force, which could end the political stalemate that has almost completely paralyzed governance in the Balkan state and left it exposed to the deadliest wave of coronavirus in recent weeks.

Following the country’s third parliamentary elections this year, exit polls show the PP garnered about a quarter of the vote – almost as much as Boyko Borissov’s center-right GERB party, the paper wrote a few hours ago, recalling the former prime minister’s ouster in April anti-corruption protests during his more than ten years in power.

In April, the so-called protest parties and traditional opposition forces failed to agree on a coalition, and new formations such as chalga singer Slavi Trifonov’s “There is Such a People” failed to form a government after winning the July elections.

The poor EU country of seven million is struggling to raise the lowest coronavirus vaccination rate in the bloc, but still less than a third of Bulgarians are fully vaccinated, and the new wave of the Delta option has led to the world’s highest mortality rate. writes the British newspaper.

This gave an additional impetus to the PP, founded by Harvard alumni Kiril Petkov and Asen Vassilev, who were in the caretaker government appointed by President Rumen Radev, and created a good name with decisive action, especially against corruption, the Financial Times said. from BTA.

While the GERB party is shunned by most other parties, the PP has several potential coalition partners, including the liberal “Democratic Bulgaria”, the populist “There is such a people” and the Socialist Party. If they unite, the parties will have a parliamentary majority of about 55 percent, according to the results of exit polls, the British newspaper writes.

The Financial Times recalls what Petkov said about the newspaper before the vote that the PP had held preliminary discussions with some of the other political forces. While it was easy with Democratic Bulgaria, others may find it more difficult to get involved in a coalition, the newspaper quoted Petkov as saying. At a pre-election event in downtown Sofia, he said the PP could generally work with either the ITN or the Socialists, but on two conditions – a replacement of the chief prosecutor and the creation of a strong anti-corruption agency.

“I want the next four years to be a successful example of how a small country eradicates corruption in a very short time,” the Financial Times recalled in a statement.

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