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Rossen Plevneliev is elected President of the Republic of Bulgaria

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Corinne Deloy,  

Fondation Robert Schuman,  

Helen Levy

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31 October 2011
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Deloy Corinne

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).

Robert Schuman Fondation

Fondation Robert Schuman

Levy Helen

Helen Levy

Rossen Plevneliev is elected President of the Republic of Bulgaria

PDF | 172 koIn English

As expected the party in office's (GERB) candidate, Rossen Plevneliev won the presidential election, the second round of which took place on 30th October in Bulgaria. The candidate supported by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov (GERB) won 52.56% of the vote and came out ahead of his rival, Ivaylo Kalfin (Socialist Party, BSP), who won 47.44% of the vote.

Turnout totalled 48.04%, an almost identical figure with that recorded in the first round on 23rd October (48.54%).

"Via its vote the Bulgarian people has given its support to the country's stability," analysed Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. "If the results had been bad, if we had lost, a political crisis might have occurred. I do not want to think of this at a time when Europe is in upheaval due to a serious economic crisis," he added. The new president of the Republic, Rossen Plevneliev, promised to undertake reform on taking office on 23rd January next, notably in terms of justice, healthcare, retirement pensions as well as the civil service. He said he wanted to establish an internet information system within the Bulgarian institutions. He also promised to do everything he could for the EU's institutions to grant Bulgaria the necessary funds to modernise its infrastructures.. "I know what the country needs, likewise its regions and its economy so that we can become a respectable member of Europe," declared Rossen Plevneliev.

Ivaylo Kalfin rapidly acknowledged his defeat. "The result is clear. We did not win the presidential election," he declared. Between rounds the leftwing opposition candidate mentioned the threat presented by a victory on the part of Rossen Plevneliev with regard to Bulgarian democracy. "The people have to know that this vote is not a problem of left and right, but it involves the protection of the democratic institutions in Bulgaria," he stressed adding, "I think that it is important for Bulgaria's president to be independent, whose voice provides a counterweight to those in government."

Socialist leader Serguey Stanichev indicated that he doubted the regularity of the presidential election. "I shall not congratulate the election's victors because they won due to unprecedented manipulation, via political and police pressure and thanks to the massive purchase of votes," declared the opposition leader.

Aged 47, Rossen Plevneliev, who is from Gotse, is a graduate in IT engineering. Entrepreneur and businessman he created the building company Iris International AD in 1990. Four years later he founded a new building company, LinBulgaria OOD, then in 1998 he set up the investment company Lindner Iris Immobilien OOD. In this time (1991-1998), Rossen Plevneliev worked in Germany. In 1999, he created the Business Park Sofia EOOD. In 2001, he organised the merger of Iris International, LinBulgaria and Lindner Immobilien within Lindner Bulgaria OOD. Two years later he created Residential Park Sofia OOD, which invests in park building projects and in 2005 he established a new investment company Lindner Immobilien Management OOD. This prolific entrepreneur is a member of the Bulgarian Employers' Confederation.

In 2009, Rossen Plevneliev was part of the team that wrote out the GERB's economic programme. After the party's victory (which he has never joined) in the general elections on 5th July 2009, he was appointed Regional Development and Public Works Minister by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. According to the polls, he was, in 2010 the most popular minister in the government, which partly explains why he was appointed candidate in the presidential election on 4th September. He was replaced in government by Liliana Pavlova.

Rossen Plevneliev will form a ticket with former Justice Minister Margarita Popova, who also does not belong to GERB.

Rossen Plevneliev's victory in the presidential election and that of GERB in the local elections in the second round of voting that also took place on 30th October (the party won at least 13 of 27 main towns, including Sofia in the first round, whilst it only held nine before the election) bear witness to the support that Prime Minister Boyko Borissov continues to enjoy. And so GERB controls all levels of power (presidential, legislative, local) and finds itself in a dominant position less than two years before the next general elections planned for the summer of 2013.

Rossen Plevneliev will take office and will replace Georgi Parvanov as head of State on 23rd January next.

Source : The Sofia Echo

Rossen Plevneliev is elected President of the Republic of Bulgaria

PDF | 172 koIn English

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