Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Those Bulgarian women...

(picture from BGNES)

Sofia will be headed by a woman, for the first time in history. Sofia's new mayor(esse) is called Yordanka Fandakova, and she was the candidate of Borisov's GERB party, elected by more than 66 % of the capital's residents. Bulgarian women are strong and responsible, and it seems they increasingly becoming visible in politics.

Picture from wikipedia

Not long ago Irina Bokova was elected director of UNESCO, the highest international position a Bulgarian politician has held since the fall of communism.

In the spring Meglena Kuneva attracted voters en masse to NDSV, "the King's party", and raised hopes that the king himself failed to live up to in the national elections.

Obviously, those Bulgarian women has something going... Fandakov is not expected to go her own way - she is supposed to run Borisovs politics in the capital, but this doesn't make her position less influential. Obviously both GERB, the socialists and NDSV leaderships know how to benefit from brilliant women. (I dont know much about Fandakova, or Bokova but I have a good general impression of Kuneva).

In the article I link to initially, Ivan Dikov compares the election of Fandakov to "Napoleon making his brother Joseph Bonaparte King of Spain 200 years ago, or to Vladimir Putin making Dmitry Medvedev the next Russian President 2 of years ago"

Comparing the appointments of Fandakova, Bokova and Kuneva, some more things could be said. As a foreigner, it is very easy to understand how the old government of Socialists, NDSV and less so the ethnic turkish party merge with european and international elites. They look and feel like western politicians. They may not walk the walk but they talk the talk, and that is what matters on those heights.

Borisov on the other hand, may be doing all the right things, but quite frankly he still looks like a bodyguard to me. I suspect he does so also to my government at the EU-meetings.

On the streets of Sofia, however, people might be tired of nice words, and the election of Fandakova shows that the confidence in Borisov's offensive politics is still there. It also seems like Borisov is monipolizing the healthy right wing vote - both racist Ataka, and the liberal-rightist SDS and DSB backed Fandakova.

So, congratulations to Fandakova, congratulations to Borisov and most of all: congratulations to Bulgarian women - taking public space, and representing all political forces in the country.

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