Human Rights in Bulgaria in 2022

    Authors: Adela Kachaunova, Aneta Genova, Antoineta Nenkova, Bosilena Melteva, Velislav Kovachev, Diana Dragieva, Iveta Savova, Iliana Savova, Krasimir Kanev, Nadezhda Tsekulova, Maria Yanakieva, Radoslav Stoyanov, Slavka Kukova

2022 was a year of political instability in Bulgaria. During its first half, the country was governed by the government of Kiril Petkov - a coalition composed of the party "We Continue the Change" (PP), which won the parliamentary elections in November 2021, the coalition "Democratic Bulgaria" (DB), the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), and the party "There Is Such a People" (ITN) led by the showman Slavi Trifonov - an organization with an unclear political profile. The government is ruling under conditions of acute political confrontation and internal tensions, which intensified after Russia's military intervention against Ukraine on 24 February 2022. By the end of June, after the withdrawal of support from ITN, the government faced a vote of no confidence in parliament and on 2 August 2022, it was replaced by an interim government of Stefan Yanev appointed by the president. Simultaneously, the President dissolved the National Assembly and scheduled new parliamentary elections, which took place on October 2, 2022. The party that performed the best in those elections, with 25.3% of the vote, was the party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), which had previously governed until April 2021. The other parties that obtained parliamentary representation were PP, BSP, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), DB, the far-right nationalist, Eurosceptic, and pro-Kremlin party "Vazrazhdane," as well as the party of former interim Prime Minister Yanev, "Bulgarian Rise." By the end of the year, the parties represented in parliament failed to form a coalition capable of electing a regular government. During the entire period after the elections, Bulgaria was governed by the caretaker government of Galab Donev, appointed by the president.