Premier Wasn't Spurred into Making Reshuffles Standartnews - 2005/2/21
Tsvetozar Tomov was born in 1954. He graduated from "St. Klement Ohridski" Sofia University where he majored in journalism. Sociology became his sphere of study since 1988 when he worked for the National Institute for Youth Studies. Starting from 1991 Tomov was the director of the Center for the Study of Democracy. In 1992-1996 he headed a private agency "Marketing Consult". From 2000 to 2002 Tomov was the director of "Sova Harris" polling agency and then took up the "Scala" agency for social studies. He is a professor in "Paissii Hilendarski" Plovdiv University.

- Mr. Tomov, how will changes in the cabinet affect the political rating of the incumbents and the NMS in particular?

- In my opinion, which is not based on the polls' results, the crisis will not have any significant effect on the course of the election process.

- Do the cabinet reshuffles betray weakness, do they result from pressure or show will to improve the governance?

- It wasn't by chance that the majority saw the political concord which resolved the critical situation as bargaining, as a deal among the power-vested aimed to ensure survival of this cabinet. On the other hand, though, I do not think that the Premier had yielded to some pressure or blackmail. I believe that the New Time switched sides because the main actors in the alliance supported by the government reached a political agreement. I mean Ahmed Dogan and Simeon Saxe-Coburg. I wouldn't assume that the course of action the executive power has taken could change so much as to affect significantly the voters' preferences and the election process. Squabbles, rivalry, reshuffles in the top echelons will have but a slight influence on it. The grist to the mill of the government lately is not the response to their concrete actions, but rather the fact that Bulgaria entered the phase of economic stability. A growing number of people feel they can live relatively better and have better prospects for their future. This makes them feel that things are improving. The margin between the ratings of BSP and NMS will shrink.

- In the right specter there are now three clearly outlined centers. Is this the optimum configuration they can use standing for election?

- The optimum variant is the formation of one center which the voters will see as the authentic right wing. So far, neither UDF, nor the union between UFD, IMRO and BAPU-PU, nor DSB can have sufficiently grounded claims for this role. In Bulgaria, 60 to 70 percent of the voters hesitate to which of the right formations they would cast their ballots. It seems that to this moment the party of Ivan Kostov (DSB) has been most aggressive in their strive to assert themselves as the authentic right wing.

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