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Presidential Elections - Intrigues of the Vote

Date: 14.09.2006

Parvanov's predetermined success will stop him from winning the first round; the right wing offers a return to the past, says analyst Vassil Tonchev, SOVA HARRIS polling agency

- Mr. Tonchev, when will the presidential elections end, on October 22nd or 29th?
 - There will be a second round of the presidential elections. No matter that Georgi Parvanov is the 100% favourite in the race, the turnout will hardly be over 50 %. It decreases every year and it will be especially so at the elections that seem predetermined in the eyes of the voters, an idea that demobilizes the electorate; 3 200 000 will not vote on October 22nd. This number is based on the new electoral rolls that will be cleared of dead souls.

- Are the elections' results actually predetermined?

- Any time we talk about public opinion, the developments cannot be forecast 100%. The other candidates do not offer anything to match Georgi Parvanov's candidature. No other runner looms as a possible final winner at the elections. The right wing did not manage to shape up a platform to inspire people, an alternative concept to the incumbent Head of State.

- Who is Parvanov's main opponent?

- If there is any dramatic point at the coming elections this is who will manage to qualify for the second round. The contest will be undoubtedly fierce. The platform of the traditional right wing - the United Democratic Forces and the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria - plus the other formations backing Nedelcho Beronov, is built on the principle - go back to the past. Their platform is based on the antagonism between communism and anti-communism, at least the first indications show it. Only, this is hardly the idea that dominates the political space in Bulgaria now. Too few people define their political views according to this antagonistic opposition. Communism is gone for good, no hopes or plans for the future can be built on such foundation. The contest for participation in the second round is actually the contest for those who will be first in the future right wing leadership. The presidential elections will determine to a large extent who will dominate in the right specter.

- What will be the major attacks against Parvanov, what weak points will be sought?

- The main attacks will be against Parvanov's image and will be directed along two major lines - nationalism and communism-anti-communism antagonism. Neither will succeed in shifting the public opinion. People would rather respond to such issues as unfulfilled promises of the government, low incomes, etc.

- To sum up, Parvanov will be president again on October 29, what is the probability of this forecast in percent?

- About 99.9 %. I leave a minimum probability because this is, after all, politics, anything is possible.

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