elections-2011-for-webThe Bulgarian presidential election season is underway, with the first round voting scheduled for 23 October, 2011. In the likely event that no candidate achieves a majority in the first round, a second round run-off between the top two finishers will be held on 30 October. Posters are going up around the country, and candidates are asked to comment on matters large and small as the public measures each one before deciding who will succeed President Georgi Parvanov when his term ends in January 2012.

The President is elected by direct popular vote to a five year term, with the right to run for one re-election to a second five year term. Parvanov is completing his second term so is not eligible to run again.

The President of Bulgaria serves as Head of State, Commander in Chief of the armed forces, and Chairman of the Consultative Council for National Security. He cannot introduce legislation, but may exercise the right to veto bills, sending them back to Parliament for further consideration or revision. Parliament, in turn, may override a presidential veto by simple majority vote.

The campaign period leading up to the election is stipulated by the Bulgarian Central Election Committee. This year it will run from 23 September to 21 October. The last day before the election, 22 October, has been set aside as a “day of reflection” on which no campaigning is allowed.

There are eighteen candidates listed on the ballot this year, but only three are given any serious chance of reaching the second round. Rosen Plevneliev from GERB, the current ruling party, is the odds on favorite to win the first round and ultimately the Presidency. His closest competitor is Ivaylo Kalfin from the Bulgarian Socialist Party. Kalfin is not particularly well known, but his running mate, Stefan Danailov, is one of the most famous television actors in Bulgaria. Meglena Kuneva, the country’s first European Commissioner and a popular personality in Bulgaria is a long shot to make the run-off. No other candidates register more than just token support in advance polls.

Order of Candidates on the Ballot for the 2011 Presidential Election in Bulgaria

  • Meglena Shtilianova Kuneva (Меглена Щилиянова Кунева) for President
    Lyubomir Hristov (Любомир Христов Христов) for Vice President
  • Rosen Asenov Plevneliev (Росен Асенов Плевнелиев) for President
    Margarita Stefanova Popova (Маргарита Стефанова Попова) for Vice President
    Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria (GERB)
  • Sally Shaban Ibryam (Сали Шабан Ибрям) for President
    Valentina Ivanova Gotseva (Валентина Иванова Гоцева) for Vice President
    National Unity Movement
  • Rumen Dimitrov Hristov (Румен Димитров Христов) for President
    Emmanuel Nikolov Yordanov (Емануил Николов Йорданов) for Vice President
    Union of Right-Wing Forces (a coalition of the Union of Democratic Forces, United Agrarian Party, Democratic Party, United Democratic Forces, St. Georges Day Movement, Union of Free Democrats, Bulgarian Radical Democratic Forces, and Bulgarian Democratic Forum)
  • Maria Vasileva Caponne (Мария Василева Капон) for President
    Nikolay Hristov Kisyov (Николай Христов Кисьов) for Vice President
    United Peoples Party
  • Stefan Georgiev Solakov (Стефан Георгиев Солаков) for President
    Galina Asenova Vasileva (Галина Асенова Василева) for Vice President
    National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria
  • Ivaylo Georgiev Kalfin (Ивайло Георгиев Калфин) for President
    Stefan Lambov Danailov (Стефан Ламбов Данаилов) for Vice President
    Bulgarian Socialist Party
  • Volen Nikolov Siderov (Волен Николов Сидеров) for President
    Pavel Dimitrov Shopov (Павел Димитров Шопов) for Vice President
  • Alexei Iliev Petrov (Алексей Илиев Петров) for President
    Nikolay Lichkov Georgiev (Николай Личков Георгиев) for Vice President
  • Nikolay Nankov Nenchev (Николай Нанков Ненчев) for President
    Zheko Stoyanov Ivanov (Жеко Стоянов Иванов) for Vice President
    Bulgarian Agrarian National Union
  • Atanas Markov Semov (Атанас Марков Семов) for President
    Polya Nikolova Stancheva (Поля Николова Станчева) for Vice President
    Order, Law and Justice Party
  • Pavel Mihailov Chernev (Павел Михайлов Чернев), for President
    Anelia Dimitrova Delcheva (Анелия Димитрова Делчева) for Vice President
    Party For the People, By the People
  • Dimitar Demirov Kutsarov (Димитър Демиров Куцаров) for President
    Kamelia Kirilova Todorova (Камелия Кирилова Тодорова) for Vice President
  • Krasimir Donchev Karakachanov (Красимир Дончев Каракачанов) for President
    Daniela Prodanova Simidchieva-Dimitrova (Даниела Проданова Симидчиева – Димитрова) for Vice President
    IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement
  • Andrey Ivanov Chorbanov (Андрей Иванов Чорбанов) for President
    Angel Boychev Mirchev (Ангел Бойчев Мирчев) for Vice President
    Bulgarian Democratic Community
  • Nikolay Kirilov Vasilev (Николай Кирилов Василев) for President
    Vladimir Emil Savov (Владимир Емил Савов) for Vice President
  • Svetoslav Emilov Bitkov (Светослав Емилов Витков) for President
    Ventsislav Emilov Mitsov (Венцислав Емилов Мицов) for Vice President
  • Ventsislav Yordanov Yosifov (Венцислав Йорданов Йосифов) for President
    Emilian Krumov Dimitrov (Емилиян Крумов Димитров) for Vice President