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Bulgaria - Presidential Election

Outgoing Bulgarian President, Rumen Radev wins the presidential election

Outgoing Bulgarian President, Rumen Radev wins the presidential election

23/11/2021 - Results - 2nd round

Unsurprisingly, the outgoing Bulgarian head of State Rumen Radev -and Vice President Iliyana Yotova -, supported by the Socialist Party (BSP), We continue the Change, There is such a People (Ima takuv narod, ITN) and Stand Up Bulgaria! Mafia Get Out! (Izpravi se BG! Moutri van!), won the second round of the presidential election on 21 November with 66.72% of the vote, while the tandem of the rector of Sofia University, St. Clement of Ohrid, Anastas Gerdjikov, and Nevyana Miteva, supported by GERB and the Union of Democratic Forces (ODS), only won 31.8%. The two candidates had obtained 49.42% and 22.83% respectively in the first round on 14 November.

Only one third of Bulgarians fulfilled their civic duty: turnout was 33.7%, or -4.94 points compared to the first round on 14 November.

It is worth recalling that Bulgarians have been asked to vote four times this year: on 4 April, 11 July and 14 November for parliamentary elections and finally on 21 November for the second round of the presidential election, the first round of which took place on the same day as the last parliamentary election.

The re-election of Rumen Radev consolidates the victory in the parliamentary elections of the coalition "We continue the change", led by Kiril Petkov and Asen Vassilev. "The two elections combined to break with the looting, the arbitrariness, the eradication of the mafia in power. Bulgaria is emerging from the doldrums," said Rumen Radev after the results were announced. "Let's take our destiny into our own hands, let's not let others undermine our future," he urged as he placed his ballot in the box. "The choice of president will influence the whole development of Bulgaria," said Kiril Petkov, who had called for a vote in favour of Rumen Radev, whom he described as "the man who has initiated the change".

Rumen Radev is popular in Bulgaria, especially because of his support during the summer 2020 protests. "He is a general, a strong man, categorical in his opinions, a moderate nationalist. He has created an image of a leader," says Anna Krasteva, a professor of political sociology at the New Bulgarian University.
"Rumen Radev is no longer considered as the man from Moscow. The classic lines of division in Bulgaria - East/West, right/left - have been overtaken by a new theme common to all the elections this year: lassitude after ten years of Boyko Borissov (GERB)," said Antony Todorov.

Roumen Radev, who is 58 years old, comes from Dimitrovgrad, a city located in the east of the country. A fighter pilot, he was a member of the air force between 1987 and 2016 and became its commander in 2014.
Supported by the Socialist Party, he was elected President of the Republic on 13 November 2016 with 59.37% of the vote to 36.16% for his rival, Tsetska Tsatcheva (GERB).

Rumen Radev will officially start his second term as President of the country on 22 January.

Results of the Presidential election of 14 and 21 November 2021 in Bulgaria

Turnout: 38.64% (1st round) and 33.70% (2nd round)

Source :
Publishing Director: Pascale JOANNIN
The author
Corinne Deloy
Author of the European Elections Monitor (EEM) for the Robert Schuman Foundation and project manager at the Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po).
Other stages
2nd roundResults