Fractious debate within Bulgaria’s centre-right Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) has ended with a decision by its Sofia branch to endorse Yordanka Fandukova, the candidate of Boiko Borissov’s GERB party, in the November 15 2009 by-elections for a new mayor of the capital city.
There is to be a trilateral deal involving GERB, the UDF and the UDF’s partner in the Blue Coalition, Ivan Kostov’s Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria, backing Fandukova, Bulgarian-language media reports said on October 13 2009.
Borislav Borislavov, chief of the UDF Sofia structure, confirmed the deal to the media that day.
UDF deputy chairman Lyuben Petrov told Bulgarian National Radio that the three parties would sign a deal later in the week on a joint programme on governance of Sofia.
Bulgarian-language mass-circulation daily Trud said on October 13 that a draft of the agreement among the three parties would prioritise the construction of a waste treatment plant by the end of the term of the current city council, the extension of the Sofia metro underground railway and resolving the problem of excessive construction in Sofia.
In spite of earlier reports, the agreement made no provision for the minority parties to be given deputy mayoral seats.
Media reports on October 13 said that Volen Siderov’s ultra-nationalist Ataka party would also endorse Fandukova, who currently is national Education Minister and previously was Sofia’s deputy mayor in charge of education.
Ataka representatives were to meet Fandukova on October 13 to hear her ideas about the future of Sofia and would then make a formal decision, reports said.
Siderov said that the idea was to consolidate all votes to "crush" Bulgarian Socialist Party mayoral candidate Georgi Kadiev in the first round.
The vacancy for mayor of Sofia was created when Boiko Borissov, elected twice to the post, became Prime Minister in July 2009. All opinion polls indicate a certain win for Fandukova.