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ChairmanBoyko Borisov
Founded3 December 2006 (2006-12-03)
Split fromNational Movement Simeon II
Membership (2018)94,000[1]
Political positionCentre-right[4][8][9]
to right-wing[10]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliation
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
Colours  Blue
National Assembly
European Parliament

GERB (Bulgarian: ?, lit.'coat of arms') is a conservative,[2] populist[3][4] political party which was the ruling party of Bulgaria between 2009 and 2021.[a]


GERB is headed by former Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov, the former mayor of Sofia, former member of the National Movement Simeon II and former personal guard of Todor Zhivkov in the 1990s. The establishment of the party followed the creation of a non-profit organization with the acronym (in Bulgarian) GERB -- Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, earlier the same year.

In early January 2007,[11] and early February 2007,[12] the party came second in public polls on party support with around 14%, trailing the Bulgarian Socialist Party which had around 25%. Its stated priorities are fighting crime and corruption, preserving family as the cornerstone of society and achieving energy independence.

GERB won the 2009 European Parliament election in Bulgaria with 24.36% of the vote. The party elected five MEPs and joined the European People's Party-European Democrats Group in the European Parliament (in the EPP section). On June 6, 2007 GERB applied formally to join as a member-party the European People's Party[13] and joined EPP on February 7, 2008.[14]

GERB won the 2009 parliamentary elections, held a month after the European ballot, winning 39.7% of the popular vote and 117 seats (out of 240). After the elections, a new government was formed, led by Borisov, primarily with GERB members and with 5 independent ministers around Deputy Prime Minister Simeon Djankov. The reformist wing was responsible for some of the most significant legislative victories, including a Constitutional reform to ban tax increases. On 20 February 2013, the government resigned after nationwide protests demanding it to step down.[15]

GERB's candidates for the 2011 presidential election, Rosen Plevneliev and Margarita Popova (presidential nominee and running mate, respectively), won the elections on the second ballot with 52.6% of the popular vote.

GERB won the 2013 parliamentary elections with 97 seats, receiving 30.5% of the popular vote. This made GERB the first governing party to be re-elected in the history of the post-communist Bulgaria. However, with lack of support from the other parties and designated to form a new government, Borisov refused the offer and so GERB went in the opposition. However, due to the collapse of the coalition government in 2014, GERB backed into power after the snap elections.

In 2020 GERB suffered a split, as a sizable number of members and local party organizations left alongside former second-in-command Tsvetan Tsvetanov to form the Republicans for Bulgaria party.[16]

List of chairmen

No Name
Portrait Term of office
1 Tsvetan Tsvetanov


Zvetanov 01.jpg 3 December 2006 10 January 2010
2 Boyko Borisov


Boyko Borissov in Tehran.jpg 10 January 2010 Incumbent



National Assembly
Election Votes % Seats +/- Government
2009 1,678,583 39.72 (#1)
2013 1,081,605 30.54 (#1)
Decrease 27 Opposition
2014 1,072,491 32.67 (#1)
Decrease 13 Coalition
2017 1,147,283 32.65 (#1)
Increase 11 Coalition
Apr 2021[b] 837,707 26.18


Decrease 22 Snap election
Jul 2021[b] 642,165 23.51 (#2)
Decrease 12 TBD
Presidential elections
Election Candidate First round Second round
Votes % Rank Votes % Result
2011 Rosen Plevneliev 1,349,380 40.1 1st 1,698,136 52.6 Won
2016 Tsetska Tsacheva 840,635 22.0 2nd 1,256,485 36.2 Lost
European Parliament
Election Votes % Seats +/-
2007 420,001 21.68 (#1)
2009 627,693 24.36 (#1)
2014 680,838 30.40 (#1)
Increase 1
2019[b] 607,194 30.13 (#1)
Decrease 1
  1. ^ With breaks between March 2013 and November 2014 and January 2017 to May 2017
  2. ^ a b c Results with SDS.


  1. ^ " ? ? ? ? ?" [BSP and GERB now almost even in membership]. 24 Chasa. August 6, 2018. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "Bulgaria". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  3. ^ a b Barzachka, Nina (April 25, 2017). "Bulgaria's government will include far-right nationalist parties for the first time". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Hope, Kerin; Troev, Theodor (June 10, 2009). "Populist promises to clean up Bulgaria". Financial Times. Retrieved 2011.(registration required)
  5. ^ Novakovi?, Igor (2010). ""European" and "Extreme" Populists in the Same Row - the New Government of the Republic of Bulgaria" (PDF). Western Balkans Security Observer. ISAC Fund (17): 63-73. Retrieved 2011.
  6. ^ Cristova, Christiana (2010). "Populism: the Bulgarian case" (PDF). Sociedade e Cultura. Goiânia. 13 (2): 221-232. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ Routledge Handbook of European Elections edited by Donatella M. Viola, page 639
  8. ^ Smilov, Daniel; Jileva, Elena (2009), "The politics of Bulgarian citizenship: National identity, democracy and other uses", Citizenship Policies in the New Europe, Amsterdam University Press, p. 229
  9. ^ Jansen, Thomas; Van Hecke, Steven (2012), At Europe's Service: The Origins and Evolution of the European People's Party, Springer, p. 78
  10. ^ "Sofia Mayor Party Mulls Roma Minister in Future Cabinet". Novinite. March 5, 2009.
  11. ^ "Socialists Lead GERB in Bulgarian Politics: Angus Reid Global Monitor". Angus Reid Public Opinion. Vision Critical. Archived from the original on July 8, 2009. Retrieved 2008.
  12. ^ "Socialists Gain, GERB Second in Bulgaria: Angus Reid Global Monitor". Angus Reid Public Opinion. Vision Critical. Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  13. ^ "? ? ? ? ?". ? (in Bulgarian). June 6, 2007. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved 2008.
  14. ^ "Bulgaria's GERB joins European People's Party". February 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  15. ^ New York Times, The. "After Bulgarian Protests, Prime Minister Resigns". Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ "? ? ? ". (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2020.

External links

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