OLD IS NEW, AND VICE VERSA

by Stamen Manolov

Following the November 2021 election – for a brief time – some hacks, including this writer, were fooled that perhaps some profound changes had occurred in Bulgarian politics

joke of the month

The leaders of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, or BSP, Kornelia Ninova; of Yes Bulgaria, Hristo Ivanov; and of Democratic Bulgaria, or DB, Gen Atanas Atanasov resigned. The reason, they said, had to do with the bad election performance of their respective political organisations. Their action was novel in Bulgarian politics and the civil service as such: very few Bulgarians resign from any position of power unless they really have to.

The election was won by the Changes Continued political grouping, and Bulgaria now has a new, energetic and finally English-speaking prime minister, Kiril Petkov. Kornelia Ninova was appointed economy minister and the Democratic Bulgaria alliance was given disproportionate powers if its bad election results were any measure to go by.

The resignees were quick to act.

First was Kornelia Ninova. She stood for the leadership of the BSP again and, despite criticism and internal opposition from some of its members, was reelected. Some of the media were quick to ridicule her reelection as a "circus act."

Their comments were a lot meeker in the case of Hristo Ivanov, the leader of the grouping that considers itself to represent this country's "bright and beautiful" rightwing intellectuals. Ivanov also got himself reelected. Significantly, there was no other candidate to challenge him. Apparently people see I have a lot of unfinished work to do, Ivanov explained.

Gen Atanasov was reelected as well. At least there was one challenger to his position.

Some analysts surmise that while the BSP, with all its internal controversies and infights, will probably survive as a party until the next general election and will probably jump over the 4 percent threshold to enter the National Assembly, Hristo Ivanov's and Gen Atanasov's parties may not. Perhaps this has something to do with their leaders and the sort of policies they propagate?

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