We Continue the Change

Summary

We Continue the Change (Bulgarian: Продължаваме промяната, romanizedProdalzhavame promyanata; PP), sometimes translated as Change Countries, is an electoral alliance in Bulgaria led by Kiril Petkov and Asen Vasilev,[5] the former caretaker Economy and Finance Ministers, respectively. It competed in the November 2021 Bulgarian National Assembly election,[6] coming in first place with 67 seats. It was given the mandate to form a government on 13 December 2021, and formed a broad coalition between BSP, ITN and DB.[7][8]

We Continue the Change
Продължаваме промяната
AbbreviationPP[1]
Leader
Founded17 September 2021 (2021-09-17)[1]
Ideology
Political positionCentre to centre-right[4]
Member parties
Colours  Blue
  Yellow
  Green
National Assembly
67 / 240
Website
promeni.bg

HistoryEdit

The party was officially launched on 19 September 2021, after a month-long speculation about its creation.[9] It was created to be an alternative anti-corruption party that could be seen as a "uniting force" between the other parties.[10] Since the coalition was created too late to have its own registration, it has to compete in the elections with the registration of one or more of its member parties. This has been done through Volt Bulgaria and Middle European Class,[11] with the former being a party that recently left the parliamentary coalition IBG-NI.

The party favoured working with the anti-establishment parties, but it has said there is speculation that it will work with BSP for Bulgaria to form a coalition. It had also not ruled out the possibility of working with GERB-SDS or Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), but Kiril Petkov has said that DPS must break contact and drop support of ex-MP Delyan Peevski, and GERB must support the replacement of Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev, in order to be considered as potential coalition partners. A new movement, the party announced that it would not create a pre-electoral agreement with the other anti-establishment parties, but there was a signed agreement of cooperation following the November election.[12][13][14]

In the November election, the party came out on top with over 25% of the vote, and it negotiated a coalition with the anti-establishment parties ITN and DB, alongside the leftist BSP. The government, led by Kiril Petkov, set out to remove corruption within the country and counter the problems faced by Bulgaria, including the energy crisis and COVID-19 pandemic.[15][16]

On 15 April, Petkov and Vasilev founded a party which shares the same name, We Continue the Change.[17]

Ideology and platformEdit

Economically, the main goals of the coalition are to create a favourable economic and administrative environment for the free development of small and medium-sized businesses and to attract strategic high-tech investments. On a more political level, they seek to stop corruption and misuse of state funds as well as uphold the rule of law.[18]

Priority for government formation is the access to quality education and healthcare for all Bulgarian citizens, modern infrastructure. They also stress social policy, in particular improving pensions for retired people.[19]

For the 2021 presidential election, Petkov and Vasilev declared their support for the incumbent President Rumen Radev.[20]

For the 2021 parliamentary elections, the coalition is campaigning on a vague platform to attract voters of different persuasions, with particular emphasis on the corruption of the former government of Boiko Borissov. Kiril Petkov and Asen Vasilev, both businessmen, are seen as pro-business and advocate anchoring Bulgaria in the European Union and NATO.[21]

StructureEdit

The coalition has two leaders, Kiril Petkov and Asen Vasilev. The main party of the coalition is "We Continue the Change". There are three smaller "mandate carrier" parties, the Political Movement "Social Democrats" (PDS), Volt Bulgaria, and Middle European Class (SEC),[22] which have surrendered their party lists up to the coalition to be used at election.

CompositionEdit

Party Abbr. Leader Ideology MPs Nov 2021 result
We Continue the Change PP Kiril Petkov & Asen Vasilev Centrism
Pro-Europeanism
Anti-corruption
61 / 240 673,141 votes (25.67%);

67 seats

Middle European Class SEC Georgi Manev Economic liberalism
Burgas regionalism
Pro-Europeanism
4 / 240
Volt Bulgaria Volt Nastimir Ananiev European federalism
Pro-Europeanism
Social liberalism
Progressivism
2 / 240
Political Movement Social Democrats PDS Elena Noneva Social democracy 0 / 240

Election resultsEdit

The coalition took part in the November 2021 Bulgarian election, coming in first place with 25.67% of the vote and 67 seats.[23][24] At the election, the coalition won 67 seats. 4 went to SEC and 2 seats were won by Volt. The main 'We Continue the Change' party won the rest of the seats.

Election resultsEdit

National Assembly
Election Votes % Seats +/– Government
Nov 2021 673,141 25.32 (#1)
67 / 240
New Coalition

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "European Election Watch Bulgaria". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  2. ^ Dichev, Ivaylo (September 19, 2021). "The "We Continue the Change" project is a search for a new balance between freedom and equality". Debati.bg – via debati.bg.
  3. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2021). "Bulgaria". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  4. ^ Tsolova, Tsvetelia (November 14, 2021). "New anti-graft centrist party seen winning Bulgaria's election". Reuters – via www.reuters.com.
  5. ^ "New centrist faction seeks to form 'Coalition of the honest' in Bulgaria". www.euractiv.com. 2021-09-20. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  6. ^ Reuters (2021-09-19). "New centrist faction to run in Bulgaria's third election this year". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  7. ^ "Four Bulgarian parties agree to form centrist-led government". euronews. 2021-12-10. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  8. ^ "Bulgarian Lawmakers To Vote To Elect New Prime Minister, OK Coalition Government". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  9. ^ "Петков и Василев представят утре политическия си проект в емблематична сграда". Dnes.dir.bg. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  10. ^ Reuters (2021-09-19). "New centrist faction to run in Bulgaria's third election this year". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-09-30.
  11. ^ ""Волт" и "Средна европейска класа" правят коалиция "Продължаваме промяната" | Вестник "ДУМА"". duma.bg. Retrieved 2021-09-20.
  12. ^ ""Демократична България" предлага предизборна коалиция на "Промяната продължава" | Вестник "ДУМА"". duma.bg. Retrieved 2021-09-20.
  13. ^ "Petkov: We Shouldn't Run in Elections with a Common List with Democratic Bulgaria - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency". www.novinite.com. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  14. ^ ""We Continue the Change" Set Conditions for Collaboration with GERB and MRF". www.novinite.com. Retrieved 2021-11-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "The New Cabinet: Everyone in the Council of Ministers with a Green Certificate - Petkov's First Order - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency". www.novinite.com. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  16. ^ "Bulgaria: Kiril Petkov Presented the Cabinet and the New Policies - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency". www.novinite.com. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  17. ^ "След 4 месеца във властта Петков и Василев ще учредят партия". СЕГА (in Bulgarian). 2022-04-14. Retrieved 2022-04-15.
  18. ^ ""Продължаваме промяната" постигна коалиционно споразумение с още една партия - По света и у нас - БНТ Новини". bntnews.bg (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2021-10-01.
  19. ^ Capital.bg. "Асен Василев: Нека започнем разговор за това какво е важно и как да бъде изпълнено". www.capital.bg (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2021-10-01.
  20. ^ Marica.bg (2021-09-19). "Кирил Петков & Асен Василев огласиха кандидата си за президе..." marica.bg (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2021-10-01.
  21. ^ "En Bulgarie, un parti anticorruption crée la surprise aux législatives". Le Monde.fr. 15 November 2021.
  22. ^ "Another Party Joins "We Continue the Change" - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency". www.novinite.com. Retrieved 2021-09-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ "Резултати :: Избори за президент и вицепрезидент и народни представители 14 ноември 2021". results.cik.bg. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  24. ^ "Избори 2021 - Dnevnik.bg". Dnevnik (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2021-11-15.