Bulgaria responds to Turkish accusations regarding Sunday's Elections
Sunday, 26 March 2017

  Roumen Radev, the current president of Bulgaria, has responded to the claims, made by the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in which he accused Sofia of putting pressure on the members of the Turkish minority in Bulgaria in the wake of the Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

“You speak of democracy but also put pressure on the Turks living there; it is incredible,” Erdoğan was quoted saying by Anadolu News Agency on March 23rd.
“Can we accept such a thing as normal? On the one hand, Bulgaria claims to defend European values as a European country, but on the other hand – will put pressure on people of Turkish origin in order not to vote according to their preferences,” he further stated.

Later, Roumen Radev, the pro-Russian president who won the presidential elections last year, responded by saying “Bulgaria does not give, nor does it accepts lessons on democracy. Especially from countries that do not respect the rule of law.”

Previously various Bulgarian government officials and politicians accused Turkey of trying to intervene in Bulgaria’s internal affairs. Accusations were made about Turkish officials allegedly helping DOST, a newly established political party led by Lyutvi Ahmet Mestan, a Bulgarian politician of Turkish origin.

As many as 700,000 ethnic Turks are said to be living in Bulgaria, mostly in the southeast of country.

On Sunday, some 6.8 million Bulgarian voters will head to the polls in order to elect the new government. The elections are also surrounded by the Bulgarian-Turkish border blockade as the Bulgarian nationalists attempt to prevent the Bulgarian citizens ,who are permanently living in Turkey, from casting their votes. According to the opinion polls, the ruling centre-right GERB party will likely win the elections.

Preliminary Election Results: GERB likely to win

The pro-European GERB (Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria) has taken an early lead in the snap parliamentary elections in Bulgaria, gaining 33.18 percent of the vote with less than 17 percent of the ballots counted, Bulgaria’s electoral commission said Sunday. In second place, with 27.45 percent, came the Bulgarian Socialist Party. Its leader, Kornelia Ninova, has already conceded defeat to GERB, promising that her party will not be a part of a coalition. However, Ninova added she is ready to form a government if GERB, led by former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, fails to do so.  


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