Parliamentary elections in Bulgaria: Prominent politicians cast ballots

Written by on March 26, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Parliamentary elections in Bulgaria: Prominent politicians cast ballots

Parliamentary elections are on their way in Bulgaria, for the third time in four years. During the first half of the day, a relatively low turnout was registered. According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), 8.44 per cent of Bulgarian voters, which translates to just under 575 000 people, had chosen parties, coalitions and candidates for the next National Assembly.

At 10 am, the turnout was slightly higher than last time around, when 7.81 per cent of voters had made their choice at that hour.

At that point today, the highest turnout was reported from the southern town of Smolyan, where 11.37 per cent of voters had voted that early, while 4.79 per cent had done so in Bulgaria’s second largest city, Plovdiv.

In his home town of Bankya, former Prime Minister and GERB chairman Boiko Borissov drove up to a polling station before 10 am, in a classic W110 series Mercedes. After exercising his right to vote, he said he had voted “for a stable, predictable and united Bulgaria”.

Boyko Borissov came to a polling station in a classic W110 series Mercedes. Those models were built in the 1960s.

Borissov’s opponent, BSP leader Kornelia Ninova, voted some 30 minutes later. In front of the press, she stated more Bulgarians needed to have jobs and higher incomes. It was nice that people exercised their right to vote, Ninova said.

The head of Bulgaria’s interim government, Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdzhikov said after voting, yesterday’s soccer match, in which Bulgaria beat the Netherlands, had been a good start for election day. He stated there were many Bulgarians who were pessimistic and asked the country to remember the successes of the past 20 years.

Bulgarians in Australia voted in record numbers, BNT reported. Many came to the only voting station in Sydney. On a calm Sunday in London, many Bulgarian expats showed up to vote as well, it said in Bulgarian language media reports, while in the northern German city of Hamburg, some problems developed since some voters could not read the Bulgarian documents they needed to fill out. In Turkey, long queues formed in front of the polling station in Bursa and elsewhere.

At a Sofia polling station, the First English Language School, nothing much was going on at around 10:30 a.m. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

In the meantime, the Bulgarian daily 24 Chassa published interim election results on both its Facebook page and its website. The Central Election Commission (CEC) seems to be investigating the matter. Recently, the daily was fined for criticizing the commission for not providing voting machines, in spite of a Supreme Administrative Court verdict, which said they had to be available at all 12 000 polling stations.

The Bulgarian prosecution was busy investigating some accusations of vote buying and other breaches of the country’s laws.

The polling stations close at 8 pm.

For the full results of Bulgaria’s March 26 2017 parliamentary elections, please follow us on Twitter at TheSofiaGlobe and via our sofiaglobe.com homepage and Facebook page. A timeline of key political events in Bulgaria from 2007 to 2017 is available on The Sofia Globe’s special page.

The Sofia Globe election factfile about Bulgaria’s March 2017 vote is online here.

German-language coverage of the elections is on The Sofia Globe Deutsch page.

/Politics

Photo at the top: Inside a Sofia polling station. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

 

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.