The polls give Rumen Radev, the current head of state of Bulgaria, as the winner of the presidential elections. The backing of various political parties and the popularity he gained in 2020, when he fueled months of protests that ended up wearing out former populist prime minister Boiko Borisov politically, would have contributed to his re-election.
Exit polls indicate that Rumen Radev, the current head of state of Bulgaria, has been re-elected in the presidential elections this Sunday. In theory, the former Russian Air Force commander beat his rival, Anastas Gerdzhikov, in the second round with a majority of 64-66% to 32-33%. However, the Central Electoral Commission has not yet confirmed the news.
Likewise, a study by Alpha Research and Gallup International revealed that less than 35% of the total population voted in the elections. A lower percentage than the 36% who voted in the first round.
The opposition Socialist Party and several newly minted formations with an anti-corruption agenda, backed the 58-year-old president. Among them is “We Continue the Change”, the winner of the legislative elections last Sunday that negotiates the formation of a Government and the end to a prolonged political stalemate.
Political opponents of the former populist prime minister, Boiko Borisov, also supported Radev. That is, the PP and the anti-elite ITN party. While Borisov’s GERB party supported the rector of the University of Sofia, Anastas Gerdzikov, in the elections, who presented himself as an independent.
Radev gained popularity in 2020, when he launched months of protests that ended up wearing out Borisov politically, whom he accuses of corruption and maintaining an excessive closeness with the local mafia.
The election comes amid widespread discontent against high-level corruption. The winner of the election takes command of a nation that has been hit by some of the worst death rates from coronavirus in the EU and rising energy costs.
Tension between Ukraine and Bulgaria
In an electoral debate with Gerdzikov, Radev said that the sanctions against Moscow were not yielding the expected results and that the European Union should re-establish dialogue with Russia. Something that was not well received by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, so he summoned the Bulgarian ambassador to Kiev with the intention of expressing his annoyance.
Radev, considered close to Russia, said that “it is very important to be pragmatic in foreign policy. The sanctions that were imposed as a result of Crimea and Ukraine are not working.”
And although he assured that “the annexation of Crimea was a violation of international law”, he affirmed that it was necessary “to recognize the reality on the ground and at this moment Crimea is (a territory) Russian”.
With EFE and Reuters