A state-funded poll shows Bulgaria's center-right GERB party has a significant lead over the Socialists ahead of the country's national May elections.
The poll, taken by NPOC between April 19 and 25, gave the GERB party 23.6 percent and the Socialists 17.7 percent of the vote. The Turkish MRF party earned 6.0 percent and the far-right Attack party had 4.9 percent of votes.
These percentages suggest Bulgaira is likely to elect a split parliament, meaning no single party will have a majority, which requires 43 percent of votes, according to Reuters.
The poll also shows that a recent eavesdropping scandal had little effect on public opinion.
Recently, Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Sergei Stanishev had talked to Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov about "alleged widespread illegal electronic surveillance of state leaders, politicians and business people," Sofia Globe, a Bulgarian news agency, reported. An inquiry led to criminal charges against officials from the Interior Ministry surveillance department.
With the controversy on the public's mind, Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev on Saturday called for politicians to focus on the issues.
“People have very reasonable demands. How do politicians respond to their demands? With bugs and special surveillance equipment. Ten days before the election, I find this unacceptable…I strongly urge, let everyone please take Bulgarian voters seriously,” Plevneliev said.
“Enough already, this is not a normal situation, this always happens before elections,” he added. “Rather than come up with clear commitments to the Bulgarian nation, we shuffle folders.”