Bulgaria PM ‘Has Poor Public Image’

07 November 2008 Sofia – Most people in Bulgaria continue to hold negative views on Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev, according to a poll by Alpha Research quoted by the Angus Reid Global Monitor.

61 per cent of respondents have a negative opinion of their Prime Minister, unchanged since July.
In June 2005, Bulgarians last cast their votes for the National Assembly.

The Coalition for Bulgaria, which includes Stanishev’s Bulgarian Socialist Party secured 82 seats, followed by the National Movement Simeon II with 53 lawmakers. They joined ranks with the ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms and agreed to set-up a coalition administration with Stanishev as prime minister.

Last year, Bulgaria officially joined the European Union.

In 2006, Sofia mayor Boyko Borissov assembled the centre-right, pro-European GERB. In October 2007, Borissov was re-elected mayor by a wide margin. He has called for an early general ballot in Bulgaria and is party currently leads opinion polls.

Bulgaria’s political scene has recently been shaken by allegations of mismanagement of EU funds. GERB has called on Bulgarian president Georgy Parvanov to shorten the term of the current legislature, and for an interim cabinet to take over. In late July, Stanishev’s government survived a no-confidence motion backed by GERB.

On October 30, the government approved the 2009 budget draft. The spending plan forecasts a 3.0 per cent surplus and increases in social programmes.

Stanishev referred to the budget, saying, “We have prioritised spending that would help respond to the global conditions and maintain macroeconomic stability.”

The next general election is tentatively scheduled for June 2009.

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