The results of the mayoral elections in Sofia will be challenged in court by Vanya Grigorova, who came second in the runoff in the capital. According to the final data, the former trade unionist and candidate of the BSP and other left-wing formations lost by about 4,500 votes to the entrepreneur Vasil Terziev, who was nominated by “We continue the change – Democratic Bulgaria” (PP-DB).
“We will fight for every vote until the end. For us, every Sotsifian is important. Hope remains alive, and freedom is within reach – between 3,000 and 5,000 votes. I will be the first to congratulate Terziev, if or when the court decided that these results and the manner in which they were achieved were lawful”Grigorova announced the day after the runoff for the 2023 local elections.
Earlier in the day, Zhelio Boychev, who is part of the Initiative Committee that promoted Vanya Grigorova’s candidacy for mayor of the capital, also admitted the possibility of contesting the result.
Codes, protocols and checks
Vanya Grigorova’s headquarters announced that they have at least two reasons to contest the decision of the Sofia Municipal Election Commission on the election of Vasil Terziev as mayor. The appeal period is 14 days, and the decision is a fact from Monday morning. Among the arguments of Grigorova’s staff is a problem with the generation of the hash code for the machines, which they say was compromised. From there, there were also doubts about the data from machine voting.
The explanation for the problems with the codes was given by former minister of e-governance – Blagovest Kirilov. “The machines have been authenticated illegally. On the Ministry of e-Government page, when the trusted build is finished and the hash code of the machines is generated, we see that it says that the code could not be validated. We are not sure if this is the hash code and what happening. How come no one saw this happen”, commented Kirilov. He added that on the day of the runoff, there were problems with some of the receipts from the machines, on which the hash code was blurred and could not be read well. There were also cases in which one of the voting receipts – for mayor or district mayor – was not printed.
The other argument of Grigorova’s headquarters is a possible discrepancy in the application of the data from mistaken protocols of sectional election commissions. During the manual transfer of the data from them, there was a possibility that some of the votes “disappeared”. That’s why an inspection was carried out at the moment “section by section, vote by vote, protocol by protocol”.
“We already have enough grounds to challenge the final result of the elections and we will do so according to all the rules of the election code. We will not allow the victory to be stolen. Terziev warmly thanks “Vazrazhdane” for the final result of these elections and now I look forward to looking forward to their joint actions in the Metropolitan Municipal Council”, explained Ivan Takov, who is the chairman of the BSP organization in Sofia and will be a municipal councilor for another term. He added that the battle of Grigorova’s headquarters is not against the machines or the electoral code, but against the reporting of the results in the capital.
All against us
Both Vanya Grigorova and the people from her headquarters complained that the whole “authority, financial, management and technical resource” of the national administration was against the candidacy of the left. A similar statement was made by the co-chairman of “We continue the change”, Kiril Petkov, who announced that despite the vocal support of GERB, all parties played against the PP-DB candidate Vasil Terziev.
Grigorova’s headquarters announced the result of her runoff as a success. She herself pointed out that she is first in 13 of the 24 districts of Sofia. Among the districts she listed were “Lyulin”, “Nadezhda”, “Ovcha Kupel”, “Krasna Polyana”, “Iskar”. And he summed up: “All large residential areas except for some parts of Mladost.
“We managed to reach this unrepresented class of Sofians, for whom the Metropolitan Municipality has been a stepmother for so many years. Vanya was their candidate. She gave hope back to these unrepresented citizens of Sofia”comments Ivan Takov.
We will not trade
Vanya Grigorova denied that her competitors in the elections held talks with her about her participation in the management of the city as the chairman of the Metropolitan Municipal Council, for example.
“The question of whether I will be the chairman of the municipal council is not on the agenda. Regardless of what happens from here on, we have our goals and a program that we will continue to pursue.”commented Vanya Grigorova.
“We are not holding talks with anyone and we will not do business. Our battle is still for mayor of Sofia. In the municipal council, what and how will happen is the next question”commented Ivan Takov.