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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 now has 18 MEPs, no change from before the election. Previously Bulgaria was represented by MEPs appointed by their national parliament. The top two parties scored 5 seats each; Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria and European Socialists Platform, followed by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms with four, Ataka with three, and National Movement Simeon II (NDSV) with one.

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]

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.[2] They were refused by the Central Electoral Commission, however, as they did not meet the residency requirements.

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.[3]

Contents

Contesting parties

The following parties contested the elections:[4]

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

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

Results

e • d  Summary of the 20 May 2007 Bulgarian delegation in the European Parliament election results
Parties Europarty EP Group Votes % Seats
Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria EPP EPP-ED 420,001 21.68% 5
European Socialists Platform PES PES 414,786 21.41% 5
Movement for Rights and Freedoms ELDR ALDE 392,650 20.26% 4
National Union Attack - ITS 275,237 14.20% 3
National Movement Simeon II ELDR ALDE 121,398 6.27% 1
Union of Democratic Forces EPP - 91,871 4.74% 0
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria EPP - 84,350 4.35% 0
Coalition of Bulgarian Social Democrats
(Party of Bulgarian Social Democrats, Political Movement "Social Democrats")
- - 37,645 1.94% 0
Agrarian National Union EPP - 29,752 1.54% 0
Communist Party of Bulgaria - - 18,988 0.98% 0
Union of Free Democrats - - 14,392 0.74% 0
Green Party of Bulgaria EGP - 9,976 0.51% 0
Civil Union for New Bulgaria - - 9,398 0.49% 0
Order, Law and Justice - - 9,147 0.47% 0
Mariya Stoyanova Serkedzhieva (independent) - - 5,323 0.27% 0
Nikola Petkov Ivanov (independent) - - 2,782 0.14% 0
Sources: Izbori2007.eu,Europarl

The official results were announced by the Central Electoral Commission on 21 May. According to the official data, the winner of the elections was Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, 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]

Elected MEPs

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

References

See also

External links

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