Sunday

19th Aug 2018

Pro-Russian candidates win in Bulgaria and Moldova

  • Bulgarian PM Borisov said he would quit if his presidential candidate lost (Photo: European People's Party)

Russian-friendly candidates won elections on Sunday (13 November) in Bulgaria and Moldova.

Bulgaria was thrown into political uncertainty after prime minister Boyko Borisov quit following the bruising defeat his presidential candidate suffered at the hands of the opposition Socialist candidate Rumen Radev.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Borisov had backed centre-right parliamentary speaker Tsetska Tsacheva, who received only 36 percent in Sunday's run-off vote.

A political outsider and former commander of the country's Air Force, Radev won with more than 59 percent of the votes.

Commentators said his landslide win came as a result of anger with government policies and corruption.

Critics fear it could tilt Bulgaria towards Russia's power orbit.

"The results clearly show that the ruling coalition no longer holds the majority," Borisov, who was re-elected in 2014 for a second time, said on Sunday.

Radev said earlier that he would keep Bulgaria in Nato, but claimed that "being pro-European does not mean being anti-Russian".

"It's a victory for all Bulgarian people. Democracy has beaten apathy and fear today," he said on state TV after being elected to the largely ceremonial role.

Radev in his victory speech reiterated his support for lifting EU sanctions on Russia and also praised new US president-elect Donald Trump for "seeking more dialogue" with Russian president Vladimir Putin, AFP reported.

He is likely to call early parliamentary elections next spring.

Moldova derailed?

Nearby Moldova was also set to elect a pro-Russian president on Sunday.

Presidential candidate Igor Dodon has declared victory in the presidential run-off vote in the former Soviet republic.

Early results showed that the Socialist candidate won 54 percent, while pro-European Maia Sandu received less than 45 percent of the votes.

Sanduhas has called for the withdrawal of thousands of Russian troops from the Russian-speaking separatist region of Transnistria, which broke away in the 1990s.

Dodon's win is partly the result of a loss of trust in the pro-European government, which was plunged into political and economic crisis after a corruption scandal in 2014.

Moldova also signed a EU association agreement in 2014, but its European integration could be in derailed, as Dodon advocated for stronger ties with Russia.

Bulgarian PM threatens to quit

Boyko Borissov says he will resign if his ally Tsetska Tsacheva is beaten in the second round of presidential elections.

Bulgarians lack faith in rule of law

Bulgaria remains mired in corruption, with most of its citizens having lost faith in their judicial system despite nine years of EU monitoring and pressure.

Opinion

Bringing Moldova back on track

Brexit is part of EU "ups and downs", Moldova's foreign minister writes. "The benefits of being part of the EU family remain very clear to us".

New Bulgarian president has bulging in-tray

The apparent pro-Russia leanings of Bulgaria's next leader, Rumen Radev, have dominated headlines. But his first major challenges will be to install a government and attempt to promote anti-corruption reforms.

News in Brief

  1. Germany and Greece strike deal on taking back migrants
  2. Merkel confronts far-right critics: '2015 will not be repeated'
  3. UN: Predictable disembarkation process urgently needed
  4. Slovenia set to select former comedian as prime minister
  5. Polish president to veto election rule helping big parties
  6. MEPs blast UK 'alphabetical approach' on citizens rights
  7. EU hits back over Salvini's blame for bridge collapse
  8. Poll: Sweden's social democrat-led government set to win again

Opinion

While Poles defend courts, Kaczynski hijacks EU elections

While Twitter and EU bubble publications are flooded with photos of protesting crowds and "chains of light" in front of the presidential palace, the Law and Justice-controlled senate has adopted a law restructuring the electoral code for 2019's European elections.

EU Commission skirts Italy sanctions on Roma evictions

The European Commission, as guardian of the treaties, declines to sanction Italy's treatment of the Roma following a forced eviction on Thursday of some 300 from a camp in the outskirts of the Italian capital.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. EU gets record response on 'summertime' consultation
  2. 'Nativism' and the upcoming Swedish and Bavarian elections
  3. Former Malta opposition leader fears for his life
  4. Women shun EU-funded site for female entrepreneurs
  5. Building a Europe more resilient to terrorism
  6. Brexit talks resume as chance of 'no deal' put at 50:50
  7. US trial sheds light on murky Cyprus-Russia links
  8. Burned cars fuel Swedish election debate

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us