On 3 November, the second round of local elections took place in Bulgaria. ALDE member Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) was able to secure a strong liberal presence at the local structures.
The result in these elections built further on the good results in the 2015 local elections. This time, 47 MRF candidates secured their positions out of a total of 265 positions available, together with nine candidates that were supported in coalition and one candidate who ran as independent. The support for MRF is also more geographically diverse this time. Moreover, 916 municipal councillors from MRF were elected, which constitutes 18% of all councillors.
In his statement, party leader Mustafa Karadayi pointed out the success of the local elections for the party but also underlined that elections are only a democratic tool when they are free, lawful and just and when the voters can make an informed choice. Despite the Venice Commission’s recommendations and clashing with the principle of linguistic diversity, the Bulgarian electoral code still bans using other languages than Bulgarian during an electoral campaign.
“We will continue insisting on the elimination of the unjust and discriminatory provisions and will continue to fight for a more democratic and liberal Europe on all levels of government,”ALDE Party Vice-President Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP of MRF said.