The new political map of the local government in Bulgaria is already much more colorful compared to the one from 4 years ago. GERB is undoubtedly in a losing position, losing in five regional cities (six if we count Pazardzhik, where the party’s influence is huge, although the long-time mayor Todor Popov is formally not from GERB, but rather from Peevski) – some of them to the PP-DB, others to the BSP, but also to candidates supported by local factors or smaller parties in several regional cities.
However, Borisov’s party will govern in 13 regional cities, including Plovdiv, which – after the loss of Sofia – is emerging as the new power center of GERB. A new “acquisition” on the map is Pleven, where Valentin Hristov defeated after two consecutive terms the mayor Georg Spartanski, this time appointed by an initiative committee. Spartanski ruled the city for two terms, and in the previous one he was supported by the former “Reformer Bloc”.
A more special case is Pernik, where Stanislav Vladimirov won a second term in the first round, but the district is technically being repainted, since Vladimirov was initially elected as mayor of the BSP, but after a break with the party of Kornelia Ninova, he was nominated by a local coalition and supported from GERB.
The PP-DB coalition appeared in local elections for the first time and achieved difficult but important breakthroughs, concentrating its influence in Southwestern Bulgaria. Its mayors will govern Sofia, Blagoevgrad and Pazardzhik, but also the third largest city in Bulgaria – Varna, where Blagomir Kotsev breaks the ten-year rule of Ivan Portnich (GERB). Moreover, Kotsev’s results in Varna show that his victory over Portnih was overwhelming. The difference between them in the runoff is 10,000 votes. PP-DB also won the battle with GERB for regional mayors in the Black Sea city by winning in two districts – Odessos and Primorski. The third district – Mladost, will be governed by a mayor nominated by the “Citizens’ Alternative” coalition.