Political situation 1.1. Domestic policy 1.2. Foreign and European policy 1.3. Migrant crisis
State and development of the main political parties
2.1. Trends in the parliamentary represented parties supporting the government 2.1.1. GERB 2.1.2. Reformist Bloc 2.1.3. Patriotic Front
2.2. Trends in the parliamentary opposition 2.2.1. BSP-Left Bulgaria 2.2.2. MRF 2.2.3. BDC 2.2.4. "Ataka" 2.2.5. ABV
2.3. Positions of the parties on foreign and European policy
Main conclusions and forecasts
The resignation of the government placed the country before a new political situation. The challenges facing Bulgaria after Erdogan’s threats towards Europe of allowing the influx of migrants become ever more realistic. The possibility for the country to be left without a legitimately elected government and working parliament after January 22nd 2017 highlights the risks that the country is facing. The result of the presidential elections, which were won by Rumen Radev, outlined a new political situation. GERB and BSP declined to form a government in this parliament. Eventually the third parliamentary group, the Reformist Bloc, invited by the president will also fail to form a government. This means that the country will face preterm elections in the next months. It is evident that we are witnessing a relocation of the main players from the political system, which most probably will undergo restructuring during the forthcoming early parliamentary elections.
GERB recorded its first heavy election defeat since the dawn of its formation as a party. This shows that there is tiredness within the party and weariness from its long-standing governance of the country. So far, the party has mainly depended on the charisma of its leader but it is already obvious that even this asset has now been exhausted. The loss can be seen as an opportunity for GERB to reevaluate its policies and its public image, and to “freshen up” the party.
BSP achieved an important election victory. This could be seen as the beginning of an upsurge of the party and guarantee for changes, demanded by its new leadership, headed by Kornelia Ninova. The main challenge for BSP, as the most numerous left party in the country, commanding the greatest authority, is whether it will be able to find ways to connect with other left formations in order to consolidate the left-wing political spectrum.