Presidential, legislative elections kick off in Bulgaria

Sofia, Nov 14 (EFE).- Bulgaria started voting Sunday in its presidential and legislative elections amid a political crisis as no political group has been able to secure a majority to form the government since April.

The nearly 13,000 polling stations opened across the country at 7am (05.00 GMT) in what has been the year’s the third elections so far.

Opinion polls predict that at least six political parties will feature in the new parliament, with conservative populist group GERB, led by the controversial former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, securing 24 percent support.

The socialist BSP and the new We Continue the Change party were tied second in the polls, both with around 16 percent support.

Until the voting closes at 8pm (18.00 GMT), voters can choose between 27 parties and alliances to represent them in the 240-member parliament.

To secure a majority of 121 seats to form a government, a coalition of between three to four parties are expected will be required.

As for the presidential elections, current President Rumen Radev is the big favorite with about 50 percent of the intention to vote.

If he succeeds in securing at least half the votes, the head of state – a pro-Russian former general supported by socialists and other parties – would avoid a run-off on Nov.21.

His main opponent in the elections is the rector of Sofia University, the conservative Anastas Gerdzhikov, with 28 percent of the support. EFE


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