2007 European Parliament election in Bulgaria

Bulgaria elected its members of the European Parliament in a by-election on 20 May 2007. It was the country's first European election, having joined the Union on 1 January of that year. The country still had 18 MEPs, no change from before the election. Until Bulgaria could hold these elections, the country was represented by MEPs appointed by the National Assembly.

European Parliament election in Bulgaria, 2007

20 May 2007 2009 

18 seats to the European Parliament
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Dushana Zdravkova Kristian Vigenin Filiz Husmenova
Seats won 5 5 4
Seat change ±0 ±0 ±0
Popular vote 420,001 414,786 392,650
Percentage 21.68% 21.41% 20.26%

  Fourth party Fifth party
Leader Dimitar Stoyanov Bilyana Raeva
Party Ataka NDSV
Alliance NI ALDE
Seats won 3 1
Seat change ±0 ±0
Popular vote 275,237 121,398
Percentage 14.20% 6.27%

The top two parties – GERB and Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) – won 5 seats each, followed by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) with four, Ataka with three, and National Movement Simeon II (NDSV) with one. Voter turnout was 28.6%.

It was considered likely that the result of the election would cause a major political crisis in Bulgaria, due to the expected weak results of the National Movement.[1]

Controversially, the eligible voters were limited to citizens of Bulgaria and the EU with their permanent and current address within the Union and a minimum of 60 days of the last three months before the elections spent within its borders. Because of this requirement, 232,800 people were rendered ineligible to vote, 185,000 of whom were Turkish Bulgarians resident in Turkey.[2]

Contesting parties

The following parties contested the elections:[3]

The People's First Movement had registered to contest the election, but were refused by the Central Electoral Commission.

The five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death and the Bulgarian doctor who received a lighter sentence in the HIV trial in Libya were slated to stand as the six leading candidates on the list of the populist Order, Law and Justice Party – to put pressure on Libya to release the nurses and to postpone their execution because of the immunity they would have as MEPs.[4] They were refused by the Central Electoral Commission, however, as they did not meet the residency requirements.

Pre-election situation

18 MEPs were appointed by Bulgaria to serve as observers in the Parliament before the country joined on 1 January 2007. Those observers then functioned as Bulgaria's appointed delegation to the European Parliament until elections were held on 20 May 2007. The breakdown of parties and their European Parliament political groups for the period 1 January 2007 to 20 May 2007 was as follows:

Party Group Seats
Bulgarian Socialist Party PES 6
National Movement Simeon II ALDE 4
Movement for Rights and Freedoms ALDE 3
Union of Democratic Forces EPP-ED 2
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria EPP-ED 1
Bulgarian People's Union EPP-ED 1
Attack ITS 1


The official results were announced by the Central Electoral Commission on 21 May. According to the official data, the winner of the elections was GERB, followed by a small margin by the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, with the distance between the third and the first being less than 1.5%. The voter turnout was 28.6%.[5]

Coalition for Bulgaria414,78621.415
Movement for Rights and Freedoms392,65020.264
National Movement Simeon II121,3986.271
Union of Democratic Forces91,8714.740
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria84,3504.350
Coalition of Bulgarian Social Democrats (PBSDPDS)37,6451.940
Agrarian People's Union29,7521.540
Communist Party18,9880.980
Union of Free Democrats14,3920.740
Green Party9,9760.510
Civil Union for New Bulgaria9,3980.490
Order, Law and Justice9,1470.470
Mariya Stoyanova Serkedzhieva (Independent)5,3230.270
Nikola Petkov Ivanov (Independent)2,7820.140
Valid votes1,937,69699.09
Invalid/blank votes17,7500.91
Total votes1,955,446100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,691,08029.22
Source: Izbori2007

Elected MEPs

According to the election results, the following 18 candidates were elected as Bulgarian Members of the European Parliament:[6]

See also