Yes, Bulgaria!
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Yes, Bulgaria!

Yes, Bulgaria! (Bulgarian: , !), is a Bulgarian political party, founded in January 2017 by former Minister of Justice Hristo Ivanov.[4] Yes, Bulgaria! is part of a coalition with Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria and The Greens.[5]


The party was founded on January 7, 2017, by Hristo Ivanov, who served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice in the caretaker Bliznashki Cabinet from August 6, 2014 until November 7, 2014. He then served as Minister of Justice in the Second Borisov Cabinet from November 7, 2014 until his resignation on December 9, 2015, submitted in protest of failed attempts at judicial reform.[4][6] At its first meeting, Ivanov outlined the party's three main priorities - "to ensure the rule of law and efficient and accessible justice; to accelerate the pace of growth of the country; and the fight against systemic poverty and for raising the standards of living."[7]

According to the Sofia Globe, "Ivanov did something few Bulgarian politicians have done before him: He stood up for his principles."[8][better source needed]

On January 11, 2017, Ivanov was elected as the party's chairman, together with an Executive Council of 13 parliamentary deputies. Two days later Yes, Bulgaria! submitted their registration documents for the upcoming parliamentary elections at the end of March.[9] In the following weeks, several political formations approached the new party in order to form a possible coalition for the elections, including The Greens, DEOS and the Bulgaria for Citizens Movement.[10]Radan Kanev's Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria, which had previously split from the Reformist Bloc in November 2016, offered to unite with Ivanov's party.[11][12] In response, Yes, Bulgaria! announced they will attempt to run independently, with Ivanov saying that "it is fair to establish a long-term connection with the voter, to have our own image," thus rejecting the offer from Kanev's now re-branded 'New Republic' coalition.[13]

On January 30, the Sofia Municipal Court approved the registration of Yes, Bulgaria! as a political party, but three subsequent official complaints against that decision meant the leadership was forced to look for a possible coalition in order to make the deadline for registration.[14] On February 8, Hristo Ivanov announced that an agreement to form a coalition between Yes, Bulgaria!, The Greens and DEOS had been reached, and registration would be possible after the collection of over 20,000 signatures in one day.[15] All three complaints were later withdrawn, and despite further appeals to the Central Electoral Commission, the coalition was cleared for participation on February 15.[16][17]

According to Novinite, "The Greens are Bulgaria's most active environmentalist party, while DEOS is a liberal organization focusing on the "rule of law", active civic participation, and minorities."[18]

At the 2017 elections, Yes, Bulgaria won a total of 101,217 votes, or 2.96% of all votes cast, leaving it as the 7th largest formation, but without parliamentary representation.[19] In Sofia's three constituencies, the party gained a total of 7.77% of all votes cast, coming in at 4th place, less than 1,000 votes behind 3rd placed United Patriots. In total, more than 70,000 votes (almost 70%) came from Sofia, Plovdiv, and Varna, as well as from Bulgarians abroad.[19]

On 30 March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the Sofia City Council members from Democratic Bulgaria, a coalition Yes, Bulgaria is part of, proposed a package of measures in defense of local economy. Those included ten-fold tax cut for landlords for leasing an apartment, rent-free period for businesses renting municipal property for the duration of the national emergency, and reorganization of Sofia public transport in view of the reduced passenger flow.[20][21]


Founders of the party included "intellectuals, entrepreneurs, artists and many others, who had "intolerance" for corruption and poverty.[22] Some of the party's founders included Dr. Boryana Museva (associate professor of law at Sofia University), economist Vera Asenova, former tennis player Manuela Maleeva and associate law professor Kristian Takov (until his death in 2017).

One notable member of Yes, Bulgaria is activist Georgi Iliev. He "was one of the organizers of protests during the Peevski scandal the Socialist-led government caused" in 2013.[8]

Political views

2017 parliamentary election results by province, showing the party's disproportionately strong showing in the 3 largest cities, as well as abroad.

In its founding declaration, the party featured seven major principles - personal freedoms and human rights, justice via rule of law, security through democracy and strong institutions, serving the public interest, creation of wealth through entrepreneurship and free enterprise, social solidarity, as well as pluralism and freedom of public debate. The document also outlined the party's 11 major goals. These included judicial, regulatory and media reforms, anti-corruption measures, increased economic growth, a focus on transparent administration and e-governance, higher education standards, civic engagement, energy independence and preservation of the country's national resources, as well as a completion of its integration into the European Union structures - full membership in the Eurozone, Schengen and the banking union.[1][3]

Yes, Bulgaria's leader Hristo Ivanov has been particularly vocal about the necessity for reform in Bulgaria's justice system. He has raised concern about the excessive powers and lack of accountability of Bulgaria's General Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov. He has emphasized that Bulgaria's Prosecution has a Stalinist model which compromises the rule of law.[23] He has repeatedly asked for Sotir Tsatsarov's resignation as the Prosecution was allegedly involved in major corruption scandals.[24] Tsatsarov was recently nominated for sanctions under the Magnitsky Act.[25]


Yes, Bulgaria received 101,177 votes in the 2017 parliamentary elections, which was 2.96% of the vote.[26] The party did not reach the four percent electoral threshold required to win seats in Parliament.


Bulgarian National Assembly
Election # of seats won # of total votes # of votes from abroad % of popular vote rank Position after the election Notes
101,217 11,413 2.96% 7th
In a coalition with The Greens and DEOS
European Parliament
Election # of seats won # of total votes # of votes from abroad % of popular vote rank Position after the election Notes
118,484 6,927 6.06% 5th European Parliament As part of Democratic Bulgaria, a coalition with The Greens and Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria


  1. ^ a b c d e " ?" (in Bulgarian). Yes, Bulgaria!. 7 January 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ " ? ? ?, ? ? ?" (in Bulgarian). 10 December 2015. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ a b " " "" (in Bulgarian). Yes, Bulgaria!. 7 January 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Yes, Bulgaria Movement To Become Political Party". 21 December 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^, Radio Free Europe Bulgaria, 9 May 2019
  6. ^ "? ? ?, ?" (in Bulgarian). 9 December 2015. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "Ex-Justice Min Heads Yes, Bulgaria Party, Vowing to Fight Corruption". 8 January 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Parliamentary Elections: "Yes, Bulgaria!", a movement for change". The Sofia Globe. 2017-03-12. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Yes, Bulgaria To File for Registration on Friday". 12 January 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "Yes, Bulgaria Receives Offers of Co-operation". 14 January 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "DSB Leaves Bulgaria's Reformist Bloc". 9 November 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "New Republic Makes Unification Offer to Yes, Bulgaria". 25 January 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "Yes, Bulgaria To Take Part in Snap Elections Independently". 27 January 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ "Court OKs Registration of Yes, Bulgaria Party". 30 January 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ "Yes, Bulgaria to Register with Greens, DEOS in Early Election". 8 February 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ "All 3 Complaints Against Registration of Yes, Bulgaria Withdrawn". 14 February 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ "SAC Rejects Appeals Against Yes, Bulgaria". 15 February 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ "Yes, Bulgaria to Register with Greens, DEOS in Early Election - - Sofia News Agency". Retrieved .
  19. ^ a b "? 26 ? 2017" (in Bulgarian). Central Electoral Commission. 28 March 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ " ? ? ". Demokratichna Bulgaria (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ "" " ? - ? ? ? ". (in Bulgarian). 30 March 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ "Ex-Justice Min Heads Yes, Bulgaria Party, Vowing to Fight Corruption - - Sofia News Agency". Retrieved .
  23. ^ " ? ". 19 April 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  24. ^ " ? ?". 20 April 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ "Nominated Perpetrators". November 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  26. ^ "?  : 2017". (in Bulgarian). Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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