The official election campaign period for Bulgaria’s autumn 2019 mayoral and municipal elections began on September 27.
The elections are scheduled ones, being held four years after the previous local elections in 2015.
Elections are being held in all 265 municipalities in Bulgaria’s 28 districts.
In all, a total of 6 227 901 people are eligible to vote, including adult Bulgarian citizens and citizens of other European Union countries resident in Bulgaria, in the latter case only if they registered to vote ahead of the September 16 deadline.
Across the country, there are 36 288 candidates. A total of 1254 are candidate municipal mayors, 5059 are candidate mayoralty mayors, and 460 are candidate district mayors. There are 29 515 candidate municipal councillors.
The largest number of candidate mayors is in Sofia, 19, followed by Plovdiv, 14.
In 397 mayoralties, there is only one candidate mayor.
All will be checked by the Dossier Commission for affiliation to the communist-era secret service State Security or military intelligence of the Bulgarian People’s Army.
Sixty-six parties and coalitions have registered to participate in the elections.
The media are obliged by law to state which content has been paid for.
Election campaign materials may not contain national symbols such as the Bulgarian national flag and coat of arms.
Clergy are banned from participating in campaigning.
Campaigning is permitted only in the Bulgarian language.
In August, Bulgaria’s Cabinet approved spending 70.7 million leva (about 36.1 million euro) on the country’s autumn 2019 municipal elections, a record budget for an election in Bulgaria.
The official campaign period ends at midnight on October 25. On October 26 and 27, no campaigning is permitted and the results of opinion polls may not be published. In the case of exit polls, these may not be published until voting ends on October 27.
The elections will be held on October 27 from 7am to 8pm. By coincidence, October 27 2019 is also the date that clocks change from summer time to winter time, going back an hour at 4am to 3am.
Where results are indecisive, second-round elections will be held on November 3 from 7am to 8pm.
Bulgarian law leaves it up to municipalities individually to decree whether there will be a ban on the sale of alcohol on and around election day.