Sofia, 15 November 2021 (dpa/MIA) — Exit polls following Bulgaria’s parliamentary election on Sunday showed a tight race between the new anti-corruption party, “We Continue the Change” (PP) and their conservative GERB rivals.
Shortly before polls closed at 8 pm (1800 GMT), officials said the turnout in what was Bulgaria’s third election this year was expected to come in at a record low.
The Gallup International association of pollsters reported on Sunday evening that the PP, which could potentially form a reform-oriented government, was surprisingly ahead with 25.8 percent of the vote.
The GERB of former prime minister Boiko Borisov, who was voted out of office in April, was projected to get 23.5 percent.
Forecasts by two other polling institutes, Alpha Research and Trend, however, saw Borissov’s GERB as the strongest force with 24.8 and 23.5 percent of the votes respectively, while PP was second with 24.1 and 22.5 percent.
The socialist BSP party is set to come in third with around 14-percent support, according to the forecasts.
The vote was called after the National Assembly legislature was unable to muster a governing majority following the last elections in July.
The country held its presidential race on the same day as the parliamentary vote.
According to projected results, incumbent Rumen Radev clearly won the first round of that election with a good 49 percent of the vote.
Nevertheless, he will have to go into a run-off against Anastas Gerdzhikov, who came second with 25 percent, because he was unable to secure more than half of the ballots.
Some 6.7 million voters were eligible to elect a new head of state, with a total of 23 candidates in the running.
The Bulgarian elections took place in the midst of a fourth wave of coronavirus infections. Mobile ballot boxes had been made available for covid-19 patients and people in quarantine.