The president, the prime minister and some of the political leaders have already exercised their right to vote in the local vote runoff.
The head of state Rumen Radev commented that there should be changes in the electoral legislation, but not every parliament can make them. The constant changes confused both the election administration and the voters.
“There should be changes that are focused on clarifying the electoral process,” the president said.
He believes that after these elections a thorough analysis of what happened should be done so that it does not happen again in the future.
“All the institutions responsible for these elections must do a very deep analysis, a very clear report and see where things went wrong to have such a low voter turnout today. My call is for the institutions to do everything possible to restore trust in the elections, including the machines. The machines proved their effectiveness in the fight against the invalid vote and the ugly filling, where consciously, where not, of the election protocols”, said Radev.
Radev: Not every parliament can deal with changes in the electoral legislation
He did not wish to comment on Prime Minister Denkov’s request for the release of DANS chairman Plamen Tonchev.
“Today we are all defining the face of local government and our future. Therefore, we must not allow the public focus to be replaced. There is time tomorrow for these questions as well”, said Radev.
Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov voted in the runoff in Sofia, but managed to do so the second time. On the first attempt, the machine broke down just before the Prime Minister voted. The device did not issue a receipt.
Denkov: I voted for a European capital
“I voted for a European, modern capital. Get out and vote for who you want to run your city. If you don’t come out, others will come out and they will decide who will rule,” he said.
“Regardless of paper or machine, the important thing is to vote. The problems with the machines are the result of poor coordination between institutions. The CEC is particularly responsible here. After the end of the elections, the question must be asked, how do we restore trust in the electoral process”, added the Prime Minister.
He refused to comment on the request for resignation of the head of DANS Plamen Tonchev.
Denkov said that tensions in Israel are very high and if the conflict escalates, it could affect the whole world. The Prime Minister indicated that the hostages should be released, the danger of terrorist attacks by Hamas should be reduced and a humanitarian crisis should not be caused. Israel has not requested military aid from Bulgaria, Denkov also pointed out.
Vice President Iliana Yotova also exercised her right to vote by choosing to vote by machine. Yotova believes that despite the chaos created in the last month, this was the best and most protected vote.
Iliana Yotova: I voted for a strong person who showed that he has positions
“I voted for a strong person who showed that he has positions. For a person who is not bothered by debates, who has his decisions and does not get away with general formulations and smiles. For a person who is not afraid to talk about problems and makes suggestions”, said Iliyana Yotova.
She emphasized that she has been voting by machine since she had such an option. “Regardless of all the chaos that has been created, I think this is the best and most protected vote. Against the background of the reports about paper ballots, it will probably be time – next week – to do a serious analysis in order to protect our right to choose”, said Yotova.
With regard to the request for the release of the chairman of DANS, Yotova clarified that this issue is yet to be considered. “There are many unknowns, we do not know the results of the inspection, both by the Minister of e-Government and by his deputy, where this flash drive is and what is on it. There are answers that we, as a society, need to get. I am sure of one thing: this issue cannot be resolved with a statement on the eve of the elections, nor on election day,” Yotova added.
She specified that the low voter turnout, in her opinion, is due to distrust in the political system.
The leaders of the PP-DB coalition also voted. Kiril Petkov and Hristo Ivanov exercised their right to vote by machine and called on Sofia residents to go and vote.
Kiril Petkov: I voted not to compare Sofia with Moscow or Troyan
Kiril Petkov also commented on the decision of the GERB leader to officially support Vasil Terziev as a candidate for mayor in the runoff in Sofia.
“I appreciate that at the end of the campaign Borisov made the right decision. I expect a greater turnout. I voted not to compare Sofia with Moscow or Troyan, so that after 4 years we can see how much the capital has progressed”, said Petkov.
“All young people to come out and vote.” All mothers and fathers, grandparents, don’t vote with nostalgia. Vote for your children’s future. There are no small Bulgarians, all Bulgarians are big. We must vote together today in order to have a great Bulgaria,” commented Petkov.
“I voted for a modern and European Sofia, which is developing with rapid steps forward, which realizes its enormous potential, which does not look back, but looks forward.” This was commented by the co-chairman of the DB, Hristo Ivanov, after exercising his right to vote.
Hristo Ivanov: I voted for modern and European Sofia
He emphasized that he voted by machine. “Safe, comfortable, guaranteeing my voice. I voted with a machine and I call on all my fellow citizens: “Go out, vote calmly.” Cast your vote for the development of the city,” he pointed out. And he added: “Obviously, in this war that has been waged against machine voting and the long-standing attempts to discredit it, it maintains the trust of the citizens. All sociology shows that. I’m sure that we will see it today in the election results. We will have to have a conversation about how to guarantee the machine voting, the machine counting of the votes. So some conversation will have to be done,” Ivanov said.
Ninova: I voted for Sofia to be governed differently from tomorrow
For Sofia to be governed in a different way – transparently, BSP leader Kornelia Ninova voted. “Decisions should be made in front of the people of Sofia, and not somewhere hidden. I voted for a clean, orderly, safe, peaceful Sofia, a social municipality. So that people from the outer districts and those from the center have the same living conditions. For a different Sofia”, she specified.
Ninova indicated that she exercised her right to vote with a paper ballot. Regarding the low voter turnout, he explained: “It’s a bad sign. And in the first round, the activity was not good. This apathy and reluctance to vote makes our institutions weakly legitimate. Huge efforts are needed to restore people’s confidence in the voting process”, is the opinion of the BSP leader.
READ ALL ABOUT THE MAYORAL ELECTIONS HERE