The first round of the election was held in Bulgaria on 27 October 2019 and the second round on 3 November 2019, to designate for new mayors, council members and chiefs in which 36,251 candidates competing for. In Bulgaria, there are 6 million 217 thousand 606 registered voters and the participation rate was 43 percent.
In the local elections in 28 provinces, no candidate could reach 51 percent of the votes and therefore 18 provinces did the second round. Under the electoral law in Bulgaria, in order to elect as a mayor which applies two-round local election, a candidate should reach 51 percent of the votes to be elected in the first round. The two candidates with the highest number of votes who do not reach this rate, compete in the second round.
According to unofficial results of the election, Citizens for European Development Party (GERB) which was led by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, won the election for 11th times to date and they won the mayorship in the largest cities of the country such as Sofia, Varna Burgas, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Vratsa, Stara Zagora and Plovdiv.
According to unofficial results which were announced by Alpha Research, public opinion research company, the mayor of the capital Sofia Yordanka Fandikova received 53.5 percent of the votes and this is her fourth term. Fandikova’s opponent Maya Manolova who is Moldova’s former ombudsman has 46.6 percent of the votes.
Movement for Rights and Freedoms Party won the Campagne in Kardzhali
Movement for Rights and Freedoms Party (MRFP) whose members were mostly Turk and Muslim, People’s Independent and Honour Party, and National Movement for Rights and Freedoms Party also participated in the elections. MRFP which is the third-party of the country won 7 mayorships in the first round in the town of Kardzhali where the population of the region mostly is Bulgarian Turks and also consisted about 10 percent of the country’s population.
MRFP’s candidate Hasan Azis was elected as a mayor of Kardzhali for the fifth time with 60 percent of the votes. In the districts of Kardzhali, in Cebel Necmi Ali, in Chernoochene Aydın Osman, in Krumovgrad Sebihan Mehmed, in Momchilgrad İlknur Kazim, in Kirkovo Şinasi Süleyman and in Ardino İzzet Şaban were elected as mayors.
Political analysts posited that participation rate in these elections is low where voting is compulsory in the country, and they also emphasized that the preference of “I do not support anyone in the ballots” took 6 percent of the votes, which is interpreted as a negative reaction in the country.