Bulgarian parliamentary election, April 2021

Author Details
Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 2021
Content Type , ,


Information Guide concerning the legislative election held in Bulgaria on 4 April 2021.

Further information:

The 240 members of the National Assembly are elected by closed list proportional representation from 31 multi-member constituencies ranging in size from 4 to 16 seats. The electoral threshold is 4% for parties.

The election campaign was held amidst the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the related vaccination programme. The political arena was also affected by the growing friction between the political and economic elites of the country, the political struggle between the Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the President Rumen Radev and a series of leaks and accusations concerning Mr Borisov's wealth. These episodes led to anti-government protests calling for early elections - while protesters were not successful in triggering a snap poll, their activity boosted some of the opposition parties.

While governing, centre-right GERB party took the largest share of the votes in this election (25.8%), it fell short of an absolute majority. Three new political parties made it to Parliament for the first time, including the populist ITN party which came second (17.4%). Traditional parties lost significant support, including the centre-left BSP party (14.8%).

Media outlets and analysts foresaw difficult coalition negotiations following this electoral outcome. Following the inability of the three most voted parties to form a new cabinet with a parliamentary majority - and according to the Constitution - the Bulgarian President dissolved the Parliament and called for a new election to take place.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Wikipedia: April 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary election https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_2021_Bulgarian_parliamentary_election
IFES: Election Guide: Election for Bulgarian National Assembly https://www.electionguide.org/elections/id/3595/
ECFR: Commentary, 11/02/2021: The end of tit-for-tat politics in Bulgaria https://ecfr.eu/article/the-end-of-tit-for-tat-politics-in-bulgaria/
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 24/03/2021: What to expect from the 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary election https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2021/03/24/what-to-expect-from-the-2021-bulgarian-parliamentary-election/
Democracy Reporting International: Backgrounder, 29/03/2021: Bulgaria’s elections and the rule of law https://democracy-reporting.org/dri_publications/backgrounder-bulgarias-elections-and-the-rule-of-law/
Robert Schuman Foundation: Analysis, 30/03/2021: The party of incumbent Prime Minister Boïko Borissov, Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) running favourite to win the general election on 4 April https://www.robert-schuman.eu/en/eem/1908-the-party-of-incumbent-prime-minister-boiko-borissov-citizens-for-the-european-development-of-bulgaria-gerb-running-favourite-to-win-the-general-election-on-4-april
Europe Elects, 04/04/2021: Bulgarian Parliamentary Election: Who Is Who https://europeelects.eu/2021/04/04/bulgarian-parliamentary-election-who-is-who/
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 06/04/2021: Bulgaria’s Election: The EU’s Negligence of Corruption and Its Values https://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/84254
Balkan Insight: Opinion, 06/04/2021: Election Surprises End Bulgaria’s Political Stability https://balkaninsight.com/2021/04/06/election-surprises-end-bulgarias-political-stability/
Robert Schuman Foundation: Results, 06/04/2021: The parliamentary elections reveal the extreme fragmentation of the Bulgarian political scene: the composition of the government will be difficult and the risk of instability high https://www.robert-schuman.eu/en/eem/1910-the-parliamentary-elections-reveal-the-extreme-fragmentation-of-the-bulgarian-political-scene-the-composition-of-the-government-will-be-difficult-and-the-risk-of-instability-high
The Sofia Globe, 09/04/2021: Bulgarian parliamentary elections: Central Election Commission announces seat distribution https://sofiaglobe.com/2021/04/09/bulgarian-parliamentary-elections-central-election-commission-announces-seat-distribution/
IIEA: EU Affairs Blog, 15/04/2021: Beyond Borissov? The Possible Implications of the Bulgarian Parliamentary Election for the EU and Ireland https://www.iiea.com/eu-affairs/beyond-borissov-the-possible-implications-of-the-bulgarian-parliamentary-election-for-the-eu-and-ireland/
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 19/04/2021: Who will lead Bulgaria’s next government? https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2021/04/19/who-will-lead-bulgarias-next-government/
Balkan Insight: Analysis, 04/05/2021: Predictions a Fool’s Game in Post-Election, Pre-Election Bulgaria https://balkaninsight.com/2021/05/04/predictions-a-fools-game-in-post-election-pre-election-bulgaria/
Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies: News & Opinions, 06/05/2021: Snap elections in Bulgaria as a result of political stalemate https://wiiw.ac.at/snap-elections-in-bulgaria-as-a-result-of-political-stalemate-n-502.html
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 10/05/2021: Voting despite the state: How Bulgarians living abroad are making their voices heard https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2021/05/10/voting-despite-the-state-how-bulgarians-living-abroad-are-making-their-voices-heard/
Oslo University: C-REX: Right Now!, 08/06/2021: The Bulgarian Elections: the Rise of Banal Nationalism and Consolidation of the Far-Right Nationalists https://www.sv.uio.no/c-rex/english/news-and-events/right-now/2021/the-bulgarian-elections-the-rise.html

EurActiv, 08/03/2021: Doctors jump to the top of Bulgaria’s election lists https://www.euractiv.com/section/elections/news/doctors-jump-to-the-top-of-bulgarias-election-lists/
Politico, 02/04/2021: Borissov leads the pack into Bulgaria’s messy election https://www.politico.eu/article/boyko-borissov-bulgaria-election-mess/
VOA News, 04/04/2021: Protest Parties Surge in Bulgaria Election, Threatening Prime Minister Borissov https://www.voanews.com/europe/protest-parties-surge-bulgaria-election-threatening-prime-minister-borissov
Novinite.com, 04/04/2021: Bulgaria’ General Election Head into Final Stretch – April 4 https://www.novinite.com/articles/208785/
RTÉ News, 05/04/2021: Bulgaria PM loses quarter of seats, no clear path to hold power https://www.rte.ie/news/world/2021/0405/1207981-bulgaria-election-latest/
France24, 05/04/2021: Bulgaria's course unclear after fractured election result https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210405-bulgaria-s-course-unclear-after-fractured-election-result
Deutsche Welle, 05/04/2021: Bulgaria election: PM Borissov's party wins but falls short of majority https://p.dw.com/p/3razq
Euronews, 26/04/2021: Fresh elections likely in Bulgaria as opposition fails to form government https://www.euronews.com/2021/04/26/fresh-elections-likely-in-bulgaria-as-opposition-fails-to-form-government
Reuters, 01/05/2021: Bulgaria faces fresh elections as Socialists refuse to form a government https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/bulgaria-faces-fresh-elections-socialists-refuse-form-government-2021-05-01/
RFE/RL, 01/05/2021: Bulgaria Set For Early Elections After Last Attempt To Form Government Fails https://www.rferl.org/a/bulgaria-set-for-early-elections-/31233530.html

Official Website of the Bulgarian Central Election Commission https://www.cik.bg/en/
OSCE: ODIHR: Bulgarian Parliamentary Elections, 4 April 2021 https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/bulgaria/476869
OSCE: ODIHR: Press Release, 05/04/2021: Bulgaria’s competitive parliamentary elections well run, but impacted by media shortcomings and significant ruling-party advantage, international observers say https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/482807

Subject Categories
Subject Tags ,
Countries / Regions
Record URL https://www.europeansources.info/record/?p=524264