Zhivko Todorov gave his first press conference after the local elections. He won a fourth term as mayor of the municipality of Stara Zagora in the first round with 55.64%. It was attended by the leader of the list and municipal head of GERB Emil Hristov, the chairman of the Municipal Election Staff Martin Martinov, the previous municipal councilors arch. Martin Pascalev and Boyana Taneva Manova, who will also be in the new local parliament.
In front of the journalists, the mayor thanked everyone who supported him and recognized his ideas for the development of the city and small settlements. He shared that during the election campaign there was a lot of negativity and outright lies against him, but also reasonable criticism that he will listen to. In order to dispel speculations about a bought vote, from which he categorically dissociates himself, Zhivko Todorov emphasized that the only place where he lost the elections was in the “Lozenets” quarter. The data from the minutes show that there are the most votes for the Agricultural People’s Union and the DPS, while the supporters of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms voted for municipal councilors, but not for the mayor.
“I met with many people and received many complaints about the work of the municipal administration. There will be changes, because the people in it must be quick and responsive. Control will be key for me during this mandate. I will be uncompromising with the quality with which all objects are executed, as well as with respect to deadlines. Companies that do not fulfill their commitments qualitatively will be sanctioned, if necessary – contracts will also be terminated. People want measures and solutions and I will give them. There will be changes in my team as well” – said Zhivko Todorov categorically.
There are 11 parties in the Municipal Council. GERB received 14 of the total 51 mandates in it. The mayor defined this as the will of the people to have more control over him.
“I will meet with all the political formations that enter the Municipal Council to discuss with them the main priorities for the development of the municipality. The subject of the “Maritsa East” complex is particularly important, and we must wisely use the period until the transformation. We will work to attract new investors and productions. For this purpose, we will develop industrial zones on the grounds of the former airport, near the village of Elenino, as well as in the former ATZ, where the areas are private, but the Municipality must build the necessary infrastructure”, emphasized Zivko Todorov.
He also pointed out that the lower support that the candidates for municipal councilors received from GERB compared to his was due to several factors. “People, especially younger people, wanted to vote by machine, and so did I. The number of invalid ballots is over 10%, with a large number being for us, but people have only marked preferences. As a result, we lose a lot of votes, and let it weigh on the conscience of the people who made it so that voting was only done with paper ballots,” commented the mayor. He also focused on the low voter turnout, which is a consequence to some extent of the numerous elections in the last three years and people’s disillusionment with politicians. “We must work in such a way as to restore people’s trust,” said Zhivko Todorov. In conclusion, he congratulated all the candidates in the Stara Zagora municipality elections for the results achieved.
Emil Hristov defined the newly elected municipal councilors from GERB as very valuable people and professionals. “The GERB group in the Municipal Council will set a pace of work that will satisfy the people and their expectations,” he said.