Bulgaria’s presidential election_ uncertainty looms – foreign policy research institute

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Rumen Radev, new President of Bulgaria. Sarmi bulgarian food (Source: Novorossia Today) 2016 Presidential Election Results

Bulgaria is a parliamentary representative republic, in which the president, elected by Bulgarian citizens, serves as the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Sach bulgarian food The President of Bulgaria is also responsible for determining and implementing the country’s foreign policy, including negotiating international treaties. Popular bulgarian food The Prime Minister of Bulgaria serves as the head of government and is generally the leader of the party that wins the most votes in elections for the National Assembly, Bulgaria’s parliament. Mehanata bulgarian restaurant des plaines National Assembly members, including the prime minister, serve four year terms and are elected by party list in each of the country’s 28 administrative regions. Kapama bulgarian food The President may serve two five year terms, while there are no term limits for members of the National Assembly. Forte bulgarian restaurant las vegas Rosen Plevneliev, ex-President of Bulgaria

Presidential elections in Bulgaria take place in two rounds. Food and drink prices in sunny beach bulgaria The two candidates receiving the most votes in the first round proceed to a second round, with the winner of that round declared the president. Famous bulgarian footballers The outgoing president of Bulgaria is Rosen Plevneliev, an independent and a former member of Bulgaria’s Communist Party. Famous bulgarian food He was elected in Bulgaria’s 2011 presidential election and was supported by GERB (English: Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria), a center-right, pro-European party. Buy bulgarian food online In May 2016, Plevneliev announced that he would not run for a second term as president for personal reasons, after the death of his son. Bulgarian traditional food During his tenure in office, Plevneliev was popular and considered a successful reformer.

The first round of voting in Bulgaria’s 2016 presidential election took place on November 6. Bulgarian street food Twenty-one candidates were listed on the first round ballot. Bulgarian restaurants in usa Rumen Radev, an independent supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), and Tsetska Tsacheva, a member of GERB, received the most votes and moved to the second round. Bulgarian restaurant shanghai Presidential elections in Bulgaria take place in two rounds. Bulgarian restaurant penang The two candidates receiving the most votes in the first round proceed to a second round, with the winner of that round declared the president.

Before entering the election, Tsacheva was a MP and the Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament, a high position in the cabinet of GERB party leader and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, from 2009 to early 2013 and again from October 2014 to the present. Bulgarian restaurant nyc She was nominated by Borisov, apparently because of her relatively clean image compared to other senior GERB officials. Bulgarian restaurant new york The two other GERB politicians under consideration were Interior Minister Rumanya Bachvarova and Borisov’s deputy, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, but both had been tied to scandals. Bulgarian restaurant los angeles ca Bachvarova was allegedly involved in dealings with Turkey that led to a shortage of vaccines in Bulgaria, while Tsvetanov was tried for, but ultimately acquitted of, embezzling 50,000 Bulgarian levs from the budget of the Interior Ministry. Bulgarian restaurant los angeles Since her election to the Bulgarian Parliament, Tsacheva has kept a low profile, toeing the GERB party line. Bulgarian restaurant london She ran on a pro-European platform, but promised that she would try to lift sanctions on Russia, which have raised prices in the Russian-energy-reliant Bulgarian economy. Bulgarian restaurant las vegas nv Her platform included pledges to limit the number of migrants and refugees crossing into the country from Turkey.

Rumen Radev, the former Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force, never demonstrated an interest in politics before entering the presidential race. Bulgarian restaurant las vegas Backed by the BSP, which has been described as “mildly Russophilic,” Radev has appeared at pro-Russian events , including one where the flags of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) were torn apart. Bulgarian restaurant in new york However, both Radev and the BSP distanced themselves from these actions. Bulgarian restaurant in los angeles Radev has voiced support for Bulgaria’s membership in NATO and the EU and spoken of his pride in serving with NATO forces. Bulgarian restaurant in des plaines His platform included promises to confirm friendship with Russia and to enforce European values, in addition to pledges to protect human rights, the environment, and the Bulgarian people. Bulgarian restaurant in atlanta Like Tsacheva, he has called for an end to sanctions against Russia. Bulgarian restaurant des plaines il 2016 Bulgarian Presidential candidates Rumen Radev and Tsetska Tsacheva. Bulgarian restaurant des plaines (Source: Sofia Globe)

In the second round of voting, on November 13, 2016, Radev handily defeated Tsacheva, winning 59.35 percent of the vote to his opponent’s 36.17 percent. Bulgarian restaurant chicago He is scheduled to take office as the President of Bulgaria in late January 2017. Bulgarian restaurant boston His Vice-President will be Iliana Iotova, a BSP Member of the European Parliament and former reporter and journalist, who had served as the BSP’s chief spin doctor before entering electoral politics.

At present, GERB holds 83 seats in Parliament, in coalition with the Reformist Bloc’s (RB) 18 seats. Bulgarian restaurant atlanta The Patriotic Front, a nationalist, conservative, and Eurosceptic group which holds 17 seats, supports GERB, but is not in the coalition. Bulgarian restaurant BSP is the largest opposition party, followed by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), which supports Turkish and Muslim minority rights. Bulgarian presidential elections 2016 Also represented in the National Assembly are independents; the Russophilic, Eurosceptic, populist Attack party; the Russophilic, social democratic Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV); and four conservative, pro-European renegade members of RB who call themselves Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria (DSB).

In response to his party’s loss, Borisov resigned as prime minister on November 16, and GERB returned its mandate to President Plevneliev, leaving the National Assembly without an official government. Bulgarian national food Plevneliev then offered the BSP a chance to form a government, which party leader Korneliya Ninova refused. Bulgarian made cars This move was politically calculated: if no government can be formed, then Bulgaria will head to the polls again for early National Assembly elections. Bulgarian guns BSP believes it would increase its share of seats in the National Assembly in such an election, riding the momentum of President Radev’s victory. Bulgarian guitar Plevneliev was expected to offer a mandate to the Reformist Bloc. Bulgarian food uk online On December 9, however, two days before the offer was to come, RB publicly decided against attempting to form a government. Bulgarian food uk Plevneliev now has little choice but to call for a snap election and risk BSP assuming a mandate as the majority government of Bulgaria.

A snap election in 2017 would be the third time Bulgarians voted for National Assembly members within the typical four year term. Bulgarian food store online Bulgaria’s last National Assembly elections were held in 2014, and, before that, in 2013. Bulgarian food store barking These elections speak to the political turmoil in the country. Bulgarian food store Whether or not one more election can resolve the turmoil remains to be seen. Bulgarian food shop london What is certain is that the recent presidential election further exacerbated it and undid two years of relative political stability. Bulgarian food shop karlovo Bulgaria’s National Assembly. Bulgarian food shop in london (Source: Sofia Globe)

Radev’s election seems to have been more a response to government corruption under GERB than an endorsement of a pro-Russian foreign policy. Bulgarian food shop Bulgaria is perceived as the most corrupt country in the EU, according to Transparency International. Bulgarian food seattle A study conducted by the European Parliamentary Research Service found that Bulgaria, by some metrics, loses 22 percent of its annual GDP to corruption. Bulgarian food san francisco The Study for Democracy, a Sofia-based think tank, finds that “ the number of people participating in corruption is now the highest in 15 years.” The hope is that Radev, as a political outsider with no government or commercial ties (a result of his entire life being spent in the military), represents an opportunity for the country to do away with its corruption problems. Bulgarian food safety agency All eyes will be on his actions with regard to corruption, which he will hopefully address immediately. Bulgarian food recipes His prospects for successfully combating Bulgaria’s corruption are limited, especially in the short term: without a parliamentary government, the chances of the National Assembly passing anti-corruption legislation are small, and, even if BSP wins a snap election, that party is as much a part of the establishment as GERB, and politics as usual would, in all likelihood, resume. Bulgarian food prices Though the office commands much authority in the realms of rhetoric and foreign policy, the President of Bulgaria is fairly limited in what he can do about domestic issues.

Though various media outlets have described Radev’s win as a victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the situation is not so clear cut. Bulgarian food pictures Radev has a long history of engagement with the West—he worked with NATO forces during his time in Bulgaria’s Air Force, did postgraduate work in the United States, and advocated buying new aircraft from European companies, not repair parts from Russia. Bulgarian food online usa His positions on foreign policy are not dissimilar from Tsacheva’s. Bulgarian food online store usa Both stressed the importance of Bulgaria’s membership in the EU and NATO, and both said that they would work towards the removal of sanctions against Russia. Bulgarian food online store The latter pledge is economically, not ideologically, motivated, contrary to the reports that use it as evidence of Radev’s Russophilia. Bulgarian food online In all likelihood, Bulgaria’s foreign policy will change very little after Radev takes over the presidency. Bulgarian food nyc This policy direction will likely occur even if the BSP wins control of the government in snap elections in 2017: it was, in fact, a BSP-led coalition government that, in 2006, signed an agreement with the United States stationing American troops at Bulgarian military bases.

It is possible that President Radev will orient Bulgaria towards Russia, but it is more likely that he will play Russia and the West against each other. Bulgarian food new york Bulgaria is reliant on both—NATO guarantees its security, and Russian oil keeps its economy ticking. Bulgarian food near me Almost all of Bulgaria’s energy comes from Russia, and the country has made a significant amount of money charging transit fees on Russian oil and gas. Bulgarian food market bristol Those revenues are threatened by Russia’s weighing of two pipeline proposals, one of which crosses Bulgaria (South Stream) and the other bypasses Bulgaria and crosses Turkey (Turkish Stream or Turkstream); Radev thus has an economic incentive to maintain good Russo-Bulgarian relations. Bulgarian food market Rather than risk the benefits of relationships with NATO and the EU on the one hand and Russia on the other, Radev will accept the continued involvement of both sides in Bulgaria. Bulgarian food los angeles This situation could very well turn Bulgaria into a proxy battlefield for competing Western and Russian interests. Bulgarian food london The country’s geographical location gives NATO access to the strategically important Black Sea, while Russia sees Bulgaria, a fellow Slavic and Eastern Orthodox state and former Warsaw Pact member, as belonging to its “sphere of influence.”

Radev takes over during a time of uncertainty, in his own country and across the world. Bulgarian food las vegas But he, with or without a BSP government in the National Assembly, is unlikely to usher in any dramatic changes in Bulgaria’s geopolitical position.

The Foreign Policy Research Institute, founded in 1955, is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the development of policies that advance U.S. Bulgarian food ireland national interests. Bulgarian food in usa In the tradition of our founder, Ambassador Robert Strausz-Hupe, Philadelphia-based FPRI embraces history and geography to illuminate foreign policy challenges facing the United States. Bulgarian food in london More about FPRI »

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