The parliament would set the date for the presidential elections on Nov 6 and the second round would be held on Nov 13, the daily 24 Chasa reported citing sources from the senior ruling GERB. GERB has selected the dates, which would be reportedly discussed in the parliament today, it said. The ruling party hoped for a consensus among the parliamentary parties but was ready to pass the proposed dates with support from just the ruling majority in case the opposition disagreed, according to the report. The dates for the presidential elections have been pushed forward by two weeks compared to the usual timing of late October in order to avoid campaigns during the holiday summer months, the daily cited anonymous GERB sources.
Incumbent president Rosen Plevneliev will not run for re-election while the main parties are yet to announce their presidential candidates. GERB has signalled that it will announce its candidate as late as possible in order to avoid smear campaigns. As we reported, the largest opposition party, socialist BSP signalled willingness to cooperate with smaller leftist party ABV but discussions are yet to start. BSP rejected ABV’s two leaders – Georgi Parvanov and Ivaylo Kalfin, as possible nominations, which ABV considered as unacceptable. The rightist parties from the Reformist Bloc alliance, part of the ruling coalition, have not managed yet to come to an agreement over a common presidential candidate. In these circumstances, we think that GERB’s nominee will have the highest chances to win the presidential elections, which would confirm the party’s dominance on the political scene.