BalkansSvet.Slajder

Incumbent president, anti-corruption party clear winners in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, President Rumen Radev has clearly won the first round of the presidential election, while in the election for Bulgaria's parliament a new anti-corruption party surprisingly came out on top.

Sofia, 16 November 2021 (dpa/MIA) — In Bulgaria, President Rumen Radev has clearly won the first round of the presidential election, while in the election for Bulgaria’s parliament a new anti-corruption party surprisingly came out on top.

With some 49 percent of the vote, the incumbent president, who has been in office since 2016, only narrowly missed an absolute majority after most of the ballots had been counted.

This means that there will probably be a run-off election next Sunday between Radev and Anastas Gerdzhikov, the rector of Sofia University, who came in second with 22 percent of the votes, the Central Election Commission announced in the capital Sofia on Monday.

The official result is not expected for a few days.

The run-off is also necessary because the turnout was not high enough for a first-round election.

Former fighter pilot and air force chief Radev has the support mainly of socialists as well as protest parties.

Gerdzhikov ran as an independent candidate backed by the conservative GERB of ex-premier Boyko Borissov, who was voted out of office in April.

Radev has repeatedly accused Borissov of mismanagement and corruption.

A total of 23 candidates had applied to become president.

Meanwhile, in what was already the third election for parliament this year, the “We Continue the Change” party (PP) received some 25 percent of the vote on Sunday, much more than had been expected according to the polls.

GERB came second with 22 percent, according to the official interim results published on Monday.

PP co-chair Kiril Petkov is now considered a possible future prime minister. Petkov is seeking a coalition government without GERB.

A graduate of the elite US university Harvard, Petkov has already served as economy minister in an interim cabinet from May to September.

A total of seven parties are expected to have cleared the 4-percent hurdle to enter parliament.

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