The grandfather, the granddaughter and the missing identifiers

The granddaughter of “Bat Sali” and why we need a unique identifier for all candidates for elected office

Following the unusually uncritical interview with Mrs. Veselina Ivanova Radoslavova on the bTV channel, it once again became clear why we need a better method for identification of candidates for elected office.

Абонирайте се за бюлетина на АКФ, за да научавате за най-новите ни разследвания и анализи:

С натискане на бутона потвърждавате, че сте запознати с Политиката ни за поверителност

As explained in our video “Preferential Vote Champions” , Mrs. Radoslavova’s candidature for MP is very curious. She is the granddaughter of the former MP of the MRF party Aleksandar Metodiev, better known as “Bat Sali.” Metodiev was convicted of hooliganism and of failure to comply with a police order, but the Supreme Court of Cassation subsequently revoked the sentence and only imposed a fine. “Bat Sali” is featured in a number of media publications claiming his involvement in vote buying, fraud, racketeering and battery of a football referee. 

The publicly available information about Mrs. Radoslavova is not nearly as abundant as the information about her grandfather. At the November 2021 parliamentary election, despite being unknown to the public at large, the young candidate received 1,153 preferential votes, 736 of which were cast in only 3 polling stations, all located in a school in Samokov. Here it should be pointed out that the mentioned polling stations were considered at high risk of vote manipulation according to the series of studies we published in the past year:

At the last election, despite the high electoral support she received, she decided — just like her grandfather — to give up her seat in the National Assembly in favor of someone “better-suited” for the post, namely Petar Chobanov — a former Minister of Finance in the Oresharski Government and a well-known member of the MRF party.

What had not been clear until now is that Mrs. Radoslavova had also competed for an MP seat in the previous two elections in 2021, but with her maiden name — Veselina Ivanova Vasileva. Another curious fact is that at the April 2021 election, she only received 11 preferential votes, which rose to 142 votes in the July 2021 election, and then increased nearly tenfold to 1,153 at the November 2021 election. Is it possible that the sudden spike in the support for the heiress of “Bat Sali” is a result of her grandfather “bequeathing” her all of his votes, as he decided not to run in the last election in 2021? And is her decision to give up her MP seat an indication of certain irregular backstage machinations?

In order to avoid similar situations in the future, it is important to be able to track the public trajectory of candidates for elected office.

This is why we are joining our partners Data for Good Bulgaria in their appeal for introducing a unique identifier for each candidate, which should become part of the Central Election Commission’s open data and should remained unchanged between elections.

More information HERE