Thursday, April 8, 2021

Bulgaria, Greenland, and Bezalel Smotrich


On April 4th, Bulgaria held general elections. The results were as follows:

75 - GERB (Conservative)
51 - ITN (Anti-Corruption)
43 - BSP (Socialist)
30 - DPS (Turkish Minority)
27 - DB (Anti-Corruption)
14 - ISMV (Anti-Corruption)

Note that these numbers may change as counting continues. 

One issue that makes a coalition difficult is that none of the anti-corruption parties wish to sit with GERB. ITN also does not want to sit with either the BSP or DPS. and both DB and ISMV have reservations about those two parties. 

This makes any potential coalition difficult, if not impossible. It would require all 3 of the non-anti-corruption parties to unite to form a majority. 

I'm keeping my eye on the situation, but as it stands, it is likely Bulgaria will be headed back to another election in a few months, one that the Anti-Corruption parties are more likely to win by a larger margin. 


On the 6th, Greenland voted for a new Parliament. The main issue in the election was development of a mine. The governing Siumut supported the development, while the opposition Atagatigiit opposed it. An election was needed due to the Democrats (who also opposed the mine) withdrawing from government, causing it to lose its majority. 

The results show Atagatigiit taking 12 seats, a gain of 4, while the Democrats have lost 3, and now only hold 3 seats. Siumut has gained 1 seat, while their only other coalition partner has lost their single seat. 

As a result, at least on the mine issue, the new Parliament will look like the old one. Results summary below:

Inuit Atagatigiit - 12 - Left and Sovereigntist 
Siumut - 10 - Left/Centre and Sovereigntist 
Nalerag - 4 - Centre and Sovereigntist 
Democrats - 3 - Right/Centre and Anti-Sovereigntist
Atassut - 2 - Right and skeptical of Sovereigntism

Starting with the first elections in 1979, the Premier has been from Siumut for all, except, a 3 year period from 2019 to 2013, when the Premier came from Atagatigiit. Looking at historical governments, it is possible that Atagatigiit, Nalerag, and the Democrats could form a coalition government. 


I want to quickly introduce Bezalel Smotrich. He is leader of the Religious Zionist party, the party formerly known as Tkuma. The party itself won 4 seats in the recent election. Adding to that is 1 member of Otzma Yehudit,  and Noam. Otzma is extremely far right, to the point that there are often debates on it it should be banned. Noam is extremly anti LGBT. Somtrich, however, himself, is quite far on the right. He has held the following positions over the years:

That Jews should be able to redline Arabs when it comes to selling and buying houses. 

Opposition to "mixed marriages" between Jews and Arabs.

Announced he is proud to be a homophobe.

Supported segregation of Jews and Arabs. 

Supports a Halachic state (the Jewish version of the Islamic "Sharia Law") 

Yesterday, he said that Arabs who do not support Jewish control over the "Land of Israel" (a term that usually means 'including Gaza and the West Bank') should leave. 

In short, he has become "big" enough of a name in Israeli Politics that I will use his name, and not a party name, when summing up polls. 

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