Simeon II declared winner

Barry Stoller bstoller at
Sun Jun 17 11:51:06 MDT 2001

Agence France Presse (additional material by New York Times). 17 June
2001. Bulgarian ex-king returns to power in homeland: exit polls.

SOFIA -- Former Bulgarian king Simeon II won legislative elections
Sunday, 55 years after he was forced into exile by communists after
World War II, according to exit polls.

The 64-year-old bearded former monarch's National Movement Simeon II
(NMS II) won 40-43 percent of the vote, according to polls announced on
national television.

The centre-right United Democratic Forces (UDF) coalition of outgoing
Prime Minister Ivan Kostov won between 22-30 percent, according to
results from seven polling institutes released as voting booths closed.

The former communist Socialist Party (PSB), which has alternated in
power with the UDF for much of the decade since 1989, scored 14-20.5
percent of the  vote, according to the exit polls.

The Turkish-minority Party of Rights and  Freedom was set to score 5-6

Turnout was put at around 70 percent.

Based on the exit poll forecast, it was unclear whether Simeon would
have an absolute majority in the 240-seat parliament, national
television reported.

Simeon, who has spent most of his life as a successful businessman in
Spain, is not standing as a candidate for parliament, however, and has
not specified what his exact role will be if his coalition wins.

Under the Bulgarian constitution, he could become a prime minister
without becoming a deputy, but analysts have said he may prefer to play
a the role of eminence grise over a government led by his movement.

Leading politicans including Kostov had accused Simeon of populism and
making unrealistic promises, including giving interest-free loans to
small businesses and wage hikes to police and teachers.

Born into the royal house of Saxe-Coburg and related to Britain's Queen
Elizabeth II, Simeon was proclaimed king by Parliament in 1943, after
his father, Boris III, died suddenly after a visit to Hitler, with whom
Bulgaria was allied.


Agence France Presse. 10 June 2001. Bulgarian parties eject
communist-era spies ahead of poll. Excerpts.

SOFIA -- Bulgaria's former king Simeon II declared Sunday the electoral
lists of his popular coalition had been purged of old collaborators with
the communist-era secret police, ahead of legislative ballots next week.

Fifteen candidates had been stopped from standing for the Simeon II
National Movement (MNS II) in next Sunday's elections because their
names appeared in the files of the secret service, whose archives were
recently opened up for public scrutiny.

Among those ousted by the MNS II, widely tipped to triumph in the June
17 poll, were seven people whose names appeared on documents but whose
work as agents or informers was not proven.


Barry Stoller

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