Better Luck Next Time?


On 2 October 2022, Bulgaria hold its consecutive early general elections. These were the fifth elections for the past 18 months with 3 parliamentary elections and a presidential election in 2021 alone. The elections resulted in a hung parliament with 7 parties in the 240 seat parliament: the often described as populist centre-right GERB (25.3%), the liberal We Continue the Change (20.2%), the so-called Turkish-minority party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (13.8%), the pro-Russian and nationalist Revival (10.2%), the centre-left Bulgarian Socialist Party (9.3%), the centre-right/liberal/Green coalition Democratic Bulgaria (7.5%) and the new pro-Russian, opportunist party Bulgarian Rise (4.6%).

The expectations before the elections were for four possible options for forming a government: (1) Pro-Western and anti-corruption, (2) Anti-corruption but not pro-Western, (3) Pro-Western but not anti-corruption or (4) Neither pro-Western nor anti-corruption.

From the initial reactions of the party leaders it seems that it will be very challenging task to form a government. Should this parliament fail to produce a government, there would likely be new elections in early spring of 2023. President Rumen Radev would then appoint a new caretaker government under his control.

The new OSIS policy brief provides information and context of the early elections in Bulgaria on 2 October 2022, the options for government formation and proposes some takeaways from the perspective of civil society and the current geopolitical context.

You can find here the policy brief Better Luck Next Time? The Early General Elections in Bulgaria on 2 October 2022