Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Aftermath of the 2007 local elections, part 1: Boyko Borisov, again

At last month's elections, Sofia mayor Boyko Borisov won a second term by a landslide victory at the first round. I hoped that at least there would be a second round.
I am happy that I have dealt with Borisov in detail in my May 30 post and so don't need to do it now.
As a resident of Sofia and a local patriot, I was definitely saddened by the election results. I envied the residents of the city of Varna as I watched on TV their re-elected mayor Kiril Yordanov. He is a socialist and not a perfect mayor. But he at least looked well in a suit. By contrast, our mayor looked as if two strong men had put the suit on him by force while four others were restraining him.
Two days ago, I received from a friend the following e-mail:

"Maya, see what has been published by the FrontPage Magazine:
If the link doesn't work, the title is Bulgaria's Future
?, by John Wilhelm. I'm afraid John Wilhelm hasn't made the necessary effort to check some things in detail... As if it wasn't enough that we elected Big Brother Boyko at the first round, plus many more his clones in other cities, and now he is being made popular in America!"
Let me now discuss some quotes from the article:

"There have been many visible improvements since Borissov took over as Sofia’s mayor. The city’s parks have been cleaned up; its old public buildings are being repaired, repainted, and magnificently lit; and a new Metro line is under construction..."
I see no visible improvements, and I am living in Sofia. The Metro was in construction, and a part of it working, long before Borisov took office. As for the "old public building being repaired" - Borisov has continued the unfortunate tradition of Sofia mayors to allow demolition of landmark buildings to make space for ugly modern business centers bringing more profits. Right now, Bulgaria Hotel and Bulgaria Concert Hall are scheduled for destruction. Details at the Guerrilla's blog, e.g. here. Bulgarian readers are advised to sign an online petition for the preservation of these buildings at

"Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast and mountain ski resorts is flourishing."
This needs no comment, just check the Black List and my recent post about it.

"While in Sofia earlier this year I interviewed Mayor Borissov... Behind him was his favorite, and perhaps most telling, graphic piece: A movie-poster painting of actor Yul Brynner and six rugged cowboys atop galloping horses charging against the bad guys in a scene from the classic Western, “The Magnificent Seven.” It’s a tale of gunslingers enlisted by desperate villagers to assist in a noble cause. This says it all."
I wouldn't advise anybody to use popular culture as a guide for real-life decisions. I have enjoyed Pretty Woman, but would it be wise for a young girl to become a prostitute with the hope of marrying a millionaire?

"While it is true that there were a number of unsolved gangland murders during Borissov's tenure as Secretary-General at the Interior Ministry, Bulgarians credit him with sharply reducing ordinary crime."
Indeed, some Bulgarians credit him with reducing crime although no such thing happened.
Mr. Wilhelm, why didn't you do your homework before writing the article? Even Jenny McCarthy (who will be featured in a coming post) can use Google! And it is for people like you that people like me take the trouble to write in English.
Or you know the real nature of B.B. and would never vote for him but find him good enough for Balkan barbarians like us?

The most troubling news concerning Boyko and his so-called party came to me from the village of Musachevo. My husband works for a company having a production unit in this village. The elected mayor was from GERB, the party of Boyko Borisov. After the elections, local people said that they were given them money as a bribe to vote for the GERB candidate, 50 leva (EUR 25) per voter. (Buying votes isn't rare at elections in Bulgaria, but this October it was of unprecedented scale and arrogance.) Some villagers took the money and then voted for the other candidate. After the elections, thugs came to the village, found these voters and slapped them in the faces.

The embedded video shows the song "My firefighter", a 1999 parody of a chalga song, performed by Radka Kurshumova. It has all the hallmarks of the awful popular Bulgarian music known as chalga - pseudo-folk elements and explicit references to sex. I am translating the first verses of the lyrics:

Firefighter, how much I love you!
I’ll set you on fire with my eyes.
Because I am a girl made of fire,
Direct your fire hose at me.
Oh my firefighter, you are a super boy!
Extinguish the fire in me, thank you!

I saw this video on the blogs of Marfa and Lyd. These two Bulgarian bloggers, who live in other cities, had embedded it as an ironic greeting to Sofia residents for re-electing Borisov because he is a former firefighter. Yes, my fellow Sofia residents, by electing Big Brother Boyko we made ourselves a laughing matter for the entire country!
At the discussion of Marfa's post, it was mentioned that Radka Kurshumova resembles the singer in Kusturica's movie Black cat, white cat as two droplets of water resemble each other, except for the absence of the nail.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

unicef has gotten involved in the bulgarian orphanage problem! check out the sofia echo bulletin piece on it!