Bulgarian elections: Third time lucky?

Bulgarian flag and voting box

Bulgarian elections: Third time lucky?

Wednesday, 24 November 2021 - 5:00pm
Seminar Room/Hybrid webinar
Eli Gateva (Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford)
Kyril Drezov (Keele University)
Jonathan Scheele (St Antony’s College, Oxford)

Bulgarian elections: Third time lucky?

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On 14 November, for the first time in the history of Bulgaria, parliamentary and presidential elections will take place at the same time. Following the protests in 2020, three new political parties entered parliament and shook up the Bulgarian political system. However, several attempts to form a government proved futile. Riding on a wave of popular support two former ministers of the caretaker government have formed a new political project to run in the elections. Early opinion polls indicate that six or seven parties will be represented in the new parliament. Bulgaria, marred by corruption, remains the poorest member state of the EU and has become one of the worst hit countries by the covid-19 crisis. Will the outcome of elections lead to more political instability or set Bulgaria on a path to true transformation?

Kyril Drezov joined Keele University in 1996. He is founding member and co-chair of the internationally acclaimed Southeast Europe Unit (SEU). As a leading expert on Bulgarian, Macedonian and Balkan politics he has contributed extensively to the BBC World Service and Oxford Analytica and has advised international consultancies, banks, and governments. His publications include Kosovo: The Politics of Delusion Frank Cass, 2001 (together with B. Gokay and  M. Waller),  'Macedonian identity: an overview of the major claims' in The New Macedonian Question (ed. James Pettifer), Macmillan 1999 and 2001, ‘Hard Bargaining amongst Friends: An Overview of Contemporary Russian–Bulgarian Relations’ in Russian Analytical Digest No. 125, March 2013, and ‘Project 1917 and RT: The Russian Revolution in the Age of Facebook and Twitter’ in The Journal of Global Faultlines (Pluto Press, 2018).

Eli Gateva joined the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford in July 2020, having previously held academic posts at the University of Manchester, Queen Mary University of London, University of York and University of Nottingham. She is a member of the Russian and Eastern European Studies Centre at Oxford School of Global Area Studies. She was a Visiting Fellow at the LSEE – Research on South Eastern Europe based at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her main research interests include European Union politics, EU Enlargement policy, democracy and anti-corruption policies. She has recently contributed to Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Dr Gateva's monograph European Union Enlargement Conditionality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) explores the nature and evolution of EU enlargement conditionality. Her current research analyses the impact of post-accession conditionality on the quality of democracy in EU member states. 


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