Elections in Bulgaria

Bulgaria elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term directly by the people. The National Assembly (Narodno Sabranie) has 240 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies with a 4% threshold. Bulgaria has a multi-party system, in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each to form governments.

Parliamentary elections

Parliamentary elections have been held in Bulgaria since 1879. There was a period when partisan politics was banned from 1934 to 1944; in the wake of the Bulgarian coup d'état of 1934 and the sequential personal rule of Tsar Boris III. There was also period of single party system between 1945 and 1989, during the People's Republic of Bulgaria, during which only candidates sanctioned by authorities could run. This, in practice, gave the Bulgarian Communist Party and its collaborators a monopoly on power.

Until 1945 there was no universal suffrage for the women. The table below show the elections since 1990, when the government became a democratic republic.

All elections since 1991 have had 240 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies with a 4% threshold. The two elections that differed from this model was the 1990 Grand National Assembly election, where 400 representatives were elected: half by proportional representation and half by first-past-the-post voting. The other exception was the 2009 election when 209 representatives were elected by proportional representation and 31 through first past the post; seats corresponding to the provinces and the largest cities.

Recent elections

Results of the election, showing vote strength by electoral district.

Five parties crossed the 4% threshold required to gain seats. GERB maintained their position as the largest party.

BSP for Bulgaria955,49027.19+11.880+41
United Patriots318,5139.07+4.327–3
Movement for Rights and Freedoms315,9768.99–5.926–12
Reformist Bloc107,4073.06–5.80–23
Yes, Bulgaria!101,1772.88New0New
Association DOST100,4792.86New0New
New Republic86,9842.48New0New
Alternative for Bulgarian RevivalMovement 2154,4121.55–2.60–11
Party of the Greens10,1590.29–0.300
Bulgarian Spring9,2320.26New0New
Forward Bulgaria Movement6,6440.19New0New
Coalition of the Dissatisfied5,9450.17New0New
Movement for an Equal Public Model4,9890.14New0New
Bulgarian National Association3,9210.11New0New
Bulgarian Democratic Center3,1300.09New0New
National Republican Party2,3250.07New0New
None of the above87,8502.50
Valid votes3,513,49095.41
Invalid/blank votes169,0094.59
Total votes3,682,499100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,004,35852.57
Source: CIK

Presidential election

Presidential elections have been held since 1992. From 1996 onwards, presidential elections have been held every five years.

CandidateRunning matePartyFirst roundSecond round
Rumen RadevIliana IotovaIndependent (Bulgarian Socialist Party)973,75425.442,063,03259.37
Tsetska TsachevaPlamen ManushevGERB840,63521.961,256,48536.16
Krasimir KarakachanovYavor NotevUnited Patriots573,01614.97
Veselin MareshkiPetar PetrovIndependent427,66011.17
Plamen OresharskiDanail PapazovIndependent253,7266.63
Traycho TraykovSabi SabevReformist Bloc224,7345.87
Ivailo KalfinLyubomir HalachevAlternative for Bulgarian Revival125,5313.28
Tatyana DonchevaMincho SpasovMovement 21–NDSV69,3721.81
George GanchevKolyo ParamovChristian Social Union27,9280.73
Velizar EnchevBilyana GrancharovaMovement for Radical Change Bulgarian Spring18,2130.48
Dimitar MarinovRadoslav PetrovBulgarian National Unification14,9740.39
Rumen GalabinovVeska VolevaIndependent10,2860.27
Plamen PaskovSvetozar SaevIndependent10,1030.26
Aleksandar TomovRadoslav RadoslavovBulgarian Socialdemocratic-Euroleft9,5130.25
Gospodin TonevAndrey AndreevBulgarian Democratic Community6,8550.18
Kemil RamadanMomchil DobrevBalkanic Democratic League6,0890.16
Kamen PopovGeorgi NedelchevIndependent5,2120.14
Diana DimitrovaGabriel GerasimovIndependent4,3620.11
Nikolay BanevSali IbrayimIndependent4,1960.11
Yordanka KolevaVeselin HristovIndependent4,1820.11
Biser MilanovKrasimir NastevIndependent3,2150.08
None of the above214,0945.59155,4114.47
Valid votes3,827,65096.963,474,92898.14
Invalid/blank votes119,9253.0466,0361.86
Total votes3,947,575100.003,540,964100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,014,72356.287,020,11950.44
Source: Electoral Commission of Bulgaria

European Parliament elections


Four nationwide referendums have been held in Bulgaria since it gained its De Facto independence in 1878:

  • On 19 November 1922 the question was if criminals from the three previous wars were to be prosecuted;[1]
  • On 8 September 1946 the question was if Bulgaria was to remain a monarchy to become a republic;[2]
  • On 16 May 1971 the nation's approval of a new constitution was asked;[3]
  • On 27 January 2013 the question was if Bulgaria should develop its nuclear power by building a new nuclear power plant.[4][5]
  • On 25 October 2015 the question was if Bulgaria should introduce electronic voting.
  • On 6 November 2016 voters were asked three questions. The questions were: Whether they supported limiting public funding of political parties; the introduction of compulsory voting in elections and referendums; and changing the electoral system for the National Assembly to the two-round system.

Several regional referendums have been held as well.

Local elections

Recent elections

See also


  1. Bulgarien, 19. November 1922 : Anklage gegen Kriegsverbrecher Direct Democracy
  2. Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p368 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  3. Nohlen & Stöver, p368
  4. Q&A: Bulgaria's nuclear energy referendum BBC News, 25 January 2013
  5. Bulgarians vote in referendum on nuclear energy Deutsche Welle