Friday

22nd Nov 2019

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 20 year's of archives. 30-day 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. EU parliament votes on new commission next week
  2. Berlusconi wants Europe to be a military global power
  3. Orban ordered to apologise over 'misleading' Soros survey
  4. EPP to decide on expelling Fidesz by end of January
  5. Rowdy anti-corruption protest in Malta
  6. Ambassador: Trump ordered Ukraine election meddling
  7. EU links Libyan government to human trafficking
  8. Greek PM on migration: 'Greece has reached its limits'

Wilmès becomes first female PM of Belgium

On Sunday, Sophie Wilmès was appointed as the new prime minister of Belgium - becoming the first female head of government in the country's history. She replaces Charles Michel who becomes president of the European Council.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  3. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  5. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  6. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  7. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  9. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021

Latest News

  1. EPP congress pledges 'moderate' climate solution
  2. EPP wants to re-open accession talks with Balkans
  3. New EU financial instruments needed
  4. Binding measures to expand gender balance
  5. Watershed moment for rule of law in Hong Kong
  6. EU Africa envoy: Europe needs to look beyond migration
  7. New calls for Muscat to resign over journalist's murder
  8. Tusk pledges 'fight' for EU values as new EPP president

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us