A new, anti-corruption-oriented formation turned out to be a big surprise in the elections in Bulgaria. At the same time, interest was low in the midst of a new wave of coronavirus, and the winner, Kiril Petkov, will most likely have to rely on “old” parties, raising the question of whether there is room for hope that anything will change.
These are a few excerpts from the first reactions of the German-language media half a day after the third parliamentary elections in a year. Most are short, but there is more interest than in previous votes.
“We continue the change” of Kiril Petkov and Asen Vassilev is obviously the main reason. “A new anti-corruption party is a surprise in the parliamentary elections in Bulgaria,” notes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which also takes stock of the very low turnout.
ARD: Far right again in parliament
“Most other parties see Borissov as an ‘unacceptable’ partner after mass anti-corruption protests and numerous allegations of misuse of public funds. he describes them as “former businessmen … who created their movement only in September”. The publication is entitled “Surprise in Bulgaria”. The definition of “surprisingly strong performance” also appears in at least a few other media.
Public television ZDF also reports on the “victory of an anti-corruption party” and “immediate coalition talks”. The ARD monitored the results of the Central Election Commission this morning and recently announced that Petkov had almost 26% and that the “new reformist party” had taken a “course towards victory”. The two leaders were quoted as saying that the fight against corruption and judicial reform would be a priority.
The ARD, meanwhile, notes that “far-right extremists” are re-entering parliament after “rejecting any vaccination or protective measures amid the country’s severe crown crisis.”
Difficulties or frustration
This media and the Austrian newspaper Der Standard point out that it will be difficult to form a government even after the third elections in April. “Elections in Bulgaria do not provide clarity for the government majority” is the headline of the Austrian edition.
The Austrian public media ORF reported yesterday that Harvard graduates bring Bulgaria hope for change.
The tone is very different on the website of the Swiss public broadcaster SRF. “Why is there so little hope in Southeast Europe,” is the title of an analysis published this morning. It describes the success of Kiril Petkov and Asen Vassilev, who “promise a lot to anyone who wants another Bulgaria”. “But they will probably disappoint the hopeful.”
It tells about the work of Petkov and Vassilev in the office and about their desire for change, but given the result “the two cannot govern alone” in the way they want, because they should partner with the Socialists; and they “are among the most corrupt in Bulgaria.” In addition, “many Bulgarians seem to have lost faith”, given that those who went to the polls were not even half when they “wondered whether to vote or not to vote”.