Analysis 06 Mar 17

Bulgarian Parties Hustle for Patriotic Votes in Election

With 20 parties and coalitions competing in the early general election on March 26, many are betting on nationalistic rhetoric to appeal to discouraged voters.

Mariya Cheresheva
BIRN
Sofia
 
 Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Ggugi.

As Bulgaria heads toward snap general election set for March 26, many parties have opted for a populist, patriotic message to win over the voters.

Parvan Simeonov, director of Gallup International Bulgaria, told BIRN that populism in Bulgaria has grown from a political style into a broader political movement.

The sociologist identifies three key trends in the electoral campaign launched on February 24 - nationalism,  socialist inclination and radicalization of rhetoric.

While patriotic slogans have long been part of the DNA of some overtly nationalistic parties, others have - more surprisingly - abandoned formerly more liberal views, appealing to such traditionalist values as the nation, the family and Christian Orthodoxy.

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