The alleged kingmakers of Bulgaria

Status: 11/13/2021 1:33 p.m.

Petkow and Wassilew are the names of the hopefuls in Bulgaria. The two ex-ministers with their reform party could end up in second place in the third ballot on Sunday and enable a government that many Bulgarians want.

By Clemens Verenkotte, ARD-Studio Vienna.

It’s not a classic final election rally: a few hundred people stroll through the south park in Sofia on Friday afternoon in autumn sunshine. Mostly young people, parents with children, together with Kiril Petkow and Assen Wassilew, the two top candidates of the newly founded reform party “We continue the change”.

Clemens Verenkotte
ARD studio Vienna

Petkov and Vasilev, 41 and 44 years old, both Harvard graduates, both entrepreneurs, were economics and finance ministers in the interim government after the first unsuccessful elections in April and became known nationwide for their crackdown on corruption under former long-term prime minister Boiko Borisov .

That is also the reason why she is putting her hopes in the two, says Juliane, a 37-year-old woman who runs a small online shop: “When you were still interim minister, you turned to the big corporations, of which we are everyone in Bulgaria knows that they don’t function according to the law, but no one had touched them before. They were the first to take the risk. ” That’s right, confirms her friend and business partner Lyubov: “In this short time you have managed to do things that no one has wanted to do in the past 30 years.”

“I’m looking forward to November 14th.”

As interim ministers for economy and finance, Petkov and Vasilev made public for the first time from the government the extent to which corruption was rampant under the previous Borisov government. For example, the state development bank, which was supposed to support small and medium-sized enterprises with loans, had instead granted loans of half a billion euros to eight oligarchic groups.

This impressed many people in Bulgaria who had been waiting for such a breakthrough since the end of the communist regime over 30 years ago. The 57-year-old geriatric nurse Ina Stojanowa is therefore on the “walk” with the two top candidates: “I haven’t voted for 30 years. But what I hear and see from these young people is what I want for this country, and I’ve waited 30 years for it to happen. I’m looking forward to November 14th. “

No cooperation with ex-Prime Minister Borisov

Two passers-by meet the political strollers in the park and shout “Sieg, Sieg!” and much success!” to. The new reform party “We are continuing the change” already has prospects of success. The latest polls put the party, PP for short, in second place, behind the national-conservative GERB party of ex-Prime Minister Borisov.

Top candidate Petkow assures that his party will not cooperate with Borisov under any circumstances: “We are not natural partners of someone who is involved in corruption.” And Vasilev, co-chairman of the Reform Party, added unequivocally: “As long as all those responsible for the current situation in the country are not in prison, there is no chance of a partnership at any time.” What is meant is a partnership with GERB.

Exactly, agrees Georgi Kadiev. The 35-year-old gardener takes a leisurely stroll through Sofia’s South Park. How could Borisov believe that he could form a coalition with the reform parties when everyone in the country knew that no other party wanted to work with him anymore. “He is totally inadequate, he lives in his own world, he has no relation to reality. People hate him! I can’t believe how insolent he is, how much he believes in himself and he is so forgotten.”

“This is the last oxygen cylinder for Bulgaria”

After two elections in April and July, which did not lead to the formation of a government, the supporters of the reform party “We are continuing change” are now putting their hopes in the two ex-interim ministers and political newcomers Petkov and Vasilev. They can be trusted to form a coalition without GERB.

Online retailer Juliane says that this is the only chance, alluding to the severe Corona situation in the country: “This is the last oxygen bottle for Bulgaria. If these people fail to change it, we will probably have to move into it Go country and clean the toilets or do something else we can. There won’t be a chance here. “

The alleged kingmakers – report from the end of the election campaign of the new reform party

Clemens Verenkotte, ARD Wien, 13.11.2021 · 12:12 pm

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