Just 16% of Bulgarians Support Adoption of Istanbul Convention - Trend Centre Survey

Sofia, February 20 (BTA) - The Trend Research Centre found that although just 16 per cent of Bulgarians would approve the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (known as the Istanbul Convention), the debate surrounding it has not affected support for the main political parties. Disapproval of the Convention stood at 46 per cent.

The Trend Centre said that the February 1-8 survey was conducted before the Prime Minister froze Parliament's ratification of the Convention. The survey commissioned by the "24 Chassa" daily was conducted among 1,004 people across the country.

The Istanbul Convention has been in the public spotlight for a month now, yet only half of respondents say they are familiar with it. Most of them are university graduates - two out of three say they are familiar with the document. The public split evenly at around 47 per cent between those who did or did not follow the debate on the Convention. Again, university graduates showed the strongest interest, while the 18 to 29 age group was least interested.

Significantly, women do not predominate among the supporters of the Istanbul Convention, which shows they do not perceive it as a document protecting their rights, Trend analysts commented. Only GERB supporters were divided evenly due to the party's clear stand in favour of the Convention.

The public's assessment of the performance of the key institutions is similar to the findings of the January survey. The President tops the ranking with 63 per cent approval, closely followed by the Ombudsman with 62 per cent. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church ranks third with 51 per cent approval. As usual, the court and the prosecuting magistracy trail the table with 19 per cent each.

Regarding the cabinet's performance, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov's approval rating is highest at 45 per cent. Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov, Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev and the Minister for Bulgaria's EU Presidency, Liliyana Pavlova, were found to be handling their job best.

The survey does not reflect any serious changes in electoral attitudes compared with December and January. GERB has a 2.5 per cent lead on its main rival, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, followed by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (6.4 per cent) and the United Patriots (5.2 per cent).

Source: Sofia