BULGARIA
Parliamentary Chamber: Narodno Sobranie

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1994

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Chamber:
  Narodno Sobranie


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  18 December 1994


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament following the premature dissolution of this body on 17 October 1994.


Background and outcome of elections:

  On 8 September 1994, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Liuben Berov – who had been in office since December 1992 at the head of a non-party “government of experts” – resigned after having been the subject of several motions of no confidence which had led to a largely hamstrung Parliament. On 17 October, President of the Republic Zhelio Zhelev dissolved the National Assembly and called for early elections. Ms. Reneta Indzhova thereupon became Bulgaria’s first woman Prime Minister in a caretaker capacity.

The December general elections were the third to be held since the transition to a multiparty system in 1990. Main contestants for the 240 Assembly seats were the formerly communist Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), which had held power until the general elections of October 1991 and which was led by Mr. Zhan Videnov; and the staunchly anti-communist Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), the largest group in the outgoing legislature headed by Mr. Filip Dimitrov but increasingly weakened by splits within its ranks. Debate during the month-long campaign focused to a great extent on economic issues, the BSP favouring deliberate free-market reforms and vowing to counter the country’s decline in this sector, as well as social policy questions.

Polling day, marked by an abstention rate of some 25%, resulted in a large victory for the BSP which, together with two minor allies, gained control of an absolute majority 125 seats to the centre-right UDF’s 69. Observers interpreted this outcome as reflecting popular discontent over lingering economic instability (especially continued high inflation and unemployment rates) and falling living standards, as well as expectations for more active security and social policies, and compared it to the ex-communists’ resurgence in recent polling held in Lithuania, Poland and Hungary. Altogether five parties or groups – including three smaller centrist ones – arrived at the threshold of 4% required for membership of Parliament: a greater overall representativity than in the previous legislature.

On 25 January 1995, the National Assembly approved a new BSP-dominated Cabinet. The same day, Prime Minister Videnov, aged 35, announced that his Government’s priorities would be to overcome the economic crisis, reduce the alarming crime rate, promote European integration and improve bilateral relations with other European nations.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (18 December 1994): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 6,997,954
Voters 5,264,614 (75.23%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 62,549
Valid votes 5,202,065

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) 315 2,262,943 43.50
Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) 311 1,260,374 24.23
People’s Union/Bulgarian Agrarian National Union/Democratic Party 266 338,478 6.51
Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) 193 283,094 5.44
Bulgarian Business Bloc (BBB) 123 245,849 4.73
Democratic Alternative for the Republic (DAR) 259 197,057 3.79
Other parties 3,319 601,709 11.56
Independents 8 12,561 0.24

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) 125
Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) 69
People’s Union/Bulgarian Agrarian National Union/Democratic Party 18
Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) 15
Bulgarian Business Bloc (BBB) 13
Democratic Alternative for the Republic (DAR) 0
Other parties 0
Independents 0

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 208
Women: 32

Distribution of seats according to age:  
25-34 years 25
35-44 years 92
45-54 years 64
55-64 years 38
Over 65 years 21


Distribution of seats according to profession:

 
Jurists 40
University and research 36
Engineers 27
Economists 18
Journalists 15
Doctors 14
Teachers 10
Others 80


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Copyright 1994 Inter-Parliamentary Union