Virtual Political Communication in the Election Campaign for the 45th National Assembly in Bulgaria

Political Communication and Rhetoric

Iglika Kasabova

Institute of Rhetoric and Communications

Email: iglika.kassabova@gmail.com

Abstract: The article aims to reconsider political rhetoric and pre-election political communication in Bulgaria in the dynamically developing virtual world. The parliamentary elections in the country, held on April 4, 2021, are studied through the prism of communication, marking common trends in verbal and visual messages on the Facebook pages of leading political parties, organizations and associations in Bulgaria during the election campaign. The methodology includes three methods: an ideological discursive analysis, critical discursive analysis and rhetorical analysis. Pre-election statements, posts, videos and other formats on Facebook pages of political structures and individual leaders are analyzed. The period from January to April 2021 is covered. The case covers 200 images and 50 videos. The study aims to establish the peculiarities of the pre-election political communication of parties and coalitions, political leaders, and public groups supporting the main six political forces present in the 45th National Assembly. One hypothesis is that the manifestations of virtual political communication have improved in recent years at the level of quality of the combination of visual and verbal means. The second hypothesis is that some political parties do not yet actively use online persuasion tools.

Keywords: political rhetoric, virtual political communication, pre-election political communication, social media, parliamentary elections.

Read the Original in Bulgarian