Polls in Bulgaria show that the nationalist United Patriots coalition led by Defense Minister Krasimir Karakacanov will be fighting for entry in the next Parliament. Karakacanov is the driving force behind the growing dispute between Macedonia and Bulgaria, which is largely motivated by his need to win over 3 percent of the votes and enter the Parliament. Currently, polls put his coalition at 2.9 percent.
The ruling GERB party led by Boyko Borisov, who has followed Karakacanov in the hard line position toward Macedonia, leads in the polls with 17.3 percent of the votes, followed by the Socialist Party with 15.3 percent.
The two king-maker parties could be the movement led by TV show host Slavi Trifonov and the DPS party which mainly represents the Bulgarian Turks. Two parties built around the recent protest movement against Borisov and the protests against over-construction in the capital Sofia are also likely to win seats in the Parliament, polling between 4 and 5 percent.
Macedonia is eagerly following the elections, with hopes that a shake-up on the political scene could deliver a more favorable environment so that Bulgaria could remove its veto of Macedonia’s EU accession talks.