GERB party leader Boyko Borisov leaves after voting at a polling station during the country's parliamentary elections and the European elections in Sofia, Bulgaria, 09 June 2024. EPA-EFE/VASSIL DONEV

News Vote 24

Bulgaria’s centre-right GERB seen leading in snap national election


Bulgaria’s centre-right GERB party was seen in the lead after a snap parliamentary election on June 9, an exit poll showed, but will have to find a coalition partners to form a government.

A poll by Alpha Research showed GERB winning 26.2 per cent of the votes, while reformist We Continue the Change (PP) was seen coming second, with 15.7 per cent of the votes.

The ultra-nationalist Revival party is set to come third with 14.5 per cent of the vote, while the Movement for Rights and Freedom (MRF), which mainly represents Bulgaria’s large ethnic Turkish minority, was projected to win 14.3 per cent.

GERB would get 73 seats in the 240-seat parliament, while PP would get 44 seats, and Revival and MRF 41 and 40 seats respectively, according to the Alpha Research poll.

The state election commission said turnout up to 4 p.m. local time (1300 GMT) was 20.44 per cent. Preliminary results are expected later on June 9 or early on June 10.

However, analysts interviewed by Bulgarian BTV TV said that the race for second place may be too close to call, and that the result could vary between the three parties which follow GERB.

Bulgaria needs a period of stable, well-functioning government to accelerate the flow of EU funds into its creaking infrastructure and nudge it towards adopting the euro and fully participating in Europe’s open-border Schengen Area.

The vote on June 9, the sixth in three years, was triggered by the collapse in March of a coalition comprising GERB and the PP.

“No one achieves success without recognising the help of others. The confident acknowledge this help with gratitude. Thank you, GERB! Thank you to all of you who supported us!,” GERB leader and former prime minister Boyko Borissov wrote on his Facebook page after exit polls came out.

Bulgarians also voted for their representatives for the European Parliament on June 9.