Elections in Bulgaria

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Bulgaria elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term directly by the people. The National Assembly (Narodno Sabranie) has 240 members elected for a four-year term by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies with a 4% threshold. Bulgaria has a multi-party system in which often no one party has a chance of gaining power alone and parties must work with each to form governments.

Parliamentary elections

Parliamentary elections have been held in Bulgaria since 1879. There was a period when partisan politics was banned from 1934 to 1944; in the wake of the Bulgarian coup d'état of 1934 and the sequential personal rule of Tsar Boris III. There was also period of single party system between 1945 and 1989, during the People's Republic of Bulgaria, during which only candidates sanctioned by authorities could run. This, in practice, gave the Bulgarian Communist Party and its collaborators a monopoly on power.

Until 1945 there was no universal suffrage for the women. The table below show the elections since 1990, when the government became a democratic republic.

All elections since 1991 have had 240 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies with a 4% threshold. The two elections that differed from this model was the 1990 Grand National Assembly election, where 400 representatives were elected: half by proportional representation and half by first-past-the-post voting. The other exception was the 2009 election when 209 representatives were elected by proportional representation and 31 through first past the post; seats corresponding to the provinces and the largest cities.

Recent elections

Bulgarian parliamentary elections 2021. Percentages of parties winning by region.
Bulgaria National Assembly November 2021.svg
We Continue the Change673,17025.3267New
Movement for Rights and Freedoms341,00012.8334+5
BSP for Bulgaria267,81710.0726–10
There Is Such a People249,7439.3925–40
Democratic Bulgaria166,9686.2816–18
Stand Up.BG! We are coming!60,0552.260–13
IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement28,3221.0700
Bulgarian Social Democratic PartyEuroLeft13,7100.5200
Society for a New Bulgaria11,6270.440New
People's Voice11,5460.4300
National Union of the Right11,2390.4200
Patriotic Front8,5840.3200
Volya Movement7,0670.2700
Russophiles for the Revival of the Fatherland6,8030.2600
Bulgarian Union for Direct Democracy5,8940.220New
Morality, Initiative and Patriotism3,9390.1500
Green Party2,9680.1100
Bulgarian National Unification2,4680.0900
Bulgarian Progressive Line1,4980.0600
Direct Democracy1,3410.0500
Bulgarian National Union – New Democracy1,0990.0400
None of the above35,7451.34
Valid votes2,658,54899.58
Invalid/blank votes11,3150.42
Total votes2,669,863100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,946,85238.43
Source: Electoral Commission of Bulgaria

Presidential election

Presidential elections have been held since 1992. From 1996 onwards, presidential elections have been held every five years.

CandidateRunning matePartyFirst roundSecond round
Rumen RadevIliana IotovaIndependent (BSPzB, PP, ITN, IBG-NI)1,322,38549.421,539,65066.72
Anastas GerdzhikovNevyana MitevaIndependent (GERB–SDS)610,86222.83733,79131.80
Mustafa KaradayiIskra MihaylovaMovement for Rights and Freedoms309,68111.57
Kostadin KostadinovElena GunchevaRevival104,8323.92
Lozan PanovMaria KasimovaIndependent (Democratic Bulgaria)98,4883.68
Luna YordanovaIglena IlievaIndependent21,7330.81
Volen SiderovMagdalena TashevaAttack14,7920.55
Svetoslav VitkovVeselin BelokonskiPeople's Voice13,9720.52
Milen MihovMariya TsvetkovaIMRO – Bulgarian National Movement13,3760.50
Rosen MilenovIvan IvanovIndependent12,6440.47
Goran BlagoevIvelina GeorgievaRepublicans for Bulgaria12,3230.46
Veselin MareshkiPolina TsankovaVolya Movement10,5360.39
Valeri SimeonovTsvetan ManchevPatriotic Front8,5680.32
Nikolay MalinovSvetlana KosevaRussophiles for the Revival of the Fatherland8,2130.31
Tsveta KirilovaGeorgi TutanovIndependent7,7060.29
Aleksandar TomovLachezar AvramovBulgarian Social Democratic PartyEuroLeft7,2350.27
Boyan RasateElena VatashkaBulgarian National Union – New Democracy6,7980.25
Marina MalchevaSavina LukanovaIndependent6,3150.24
Zhelyo ZhelevKalin KrulevSociety for a New Bulgaria6,1540.23
Blagoy PetrevskiSevina HadjiyskaBulgarian Union for Direct Democracy5,5180.21
Yolo DenevMario FilevIndependent5,3940.20
Maria KolevaGancho PopovPravoto4,6660.17
Georgi Georgiev-GotiStoyan TsvetkovBulgarian National Unification2,9580.11
None of the above60,7862.2734,1691.48
Valid votes2,675,93599.652,307,61099.83
Invalid/blank votes9,4870.353,9090.17
Total votes2,685,422100.002,311,519100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,949,93838.646,868,73733.65
Source: Electoral Commission of Bulgaria (first round), Electoral Commission of Bulgaria (second round)

European Parliament elections


Four nationwide referendums have been held in Bulgaria since it gained its De Facto independence in 1878:

  • On 19 November 1922 the question was if criminals from the three previous wars were to be prosecuted;[1]
  • On 8 September 1946 the question was if Bulgaria was to remain a monarchy to become a republic;[2]
  • On 16 May 1971 the nation's approval of a new constitution was asked;[3]
  • On 27 January 2013 the question was if Bulgaria should develop its nuclear power by building a new nuclear power plant.[4][5]
  • On 25 October 2015 the question was if Bulgaria should introduce electronic voting.
  • On 6 November 2016 voters were asked three questions. The questions were: Whether they supported limiting public funding of political parties; the introduction of compulsory voting in elections and referendums; and changing the electoral system for the National Assembly to the two-round system.

Several regional referendums have been held as well.

Local elections

Recent elections

See also

  • flagBulgaria portal


  1. ^ Bulgarien, 19. November 1922 : Anklage gegen Kriegsverbrecher Direct Democracy
  2. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p368 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  3. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p368
  4. ^ Q&A: Bulgaria's nuclear energy referendum BBC News, 25 January 2013
  5. ^ Bulgarians vote in referendum on nuclear energy Deutsche Welle

External links

  • Blog in English about the Bulgarian elections in 2009
  • Adam Carr's Election Archive
  • Ms Lyubka Savkova's Bulgarian Party Politics and Public Opinion Research Website hosted by the University of Sussex
  • Parties and Elections
  • Народно събрание на Република България/National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Bulgarian News Agency
  • Blog in English about the Bulgarian elections in 2009
  • NSD: European Election Database - Bulgaria publishes regional level election data; allows for comparisons of election results, 1990-2009
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