Mayoral elections in nine cities in Bulgaria on October 27 have produced clear winners, while final results are awaited to determine whether a run-off will be required in the Black Sea city of Varna.
In Varna, official results posted by the Central Election Commission, as of 11.20pm on October 28 with close to 59 per cent of protocols processed, showed incumbent mayor and GERB candidate Ivan Portnih with 50.19 per cent of the vote.
This puts him over the threshold for a first-round victory but the picture will not be clear until the processing of protocols is complete.
Of the nine cities, eight saw the election of mayors nominated by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party or backed by a combination of GERB and a local coalition.
There could be no doubt about the election of GERB’s Kalin Kamenov as mayor of Vratsa, with him having won close to 73 per cent of the vote.
Rivalling this record was Zlatko Zhivkov in Montana, backed by GERB and a local coalition, who had just short of 72 per cent of the vote.
In Bourgas, mayor and deputy leader of GERB Dimitar Nikolov won a further term with 65.86 per cent.
Other mayoral race results were Daniel Panov in Veliko Turnovo (60.55 per cent), Tanya Hristova in Gabrovo (58.63 per cent), Petar Paunov in Kyustendil (54.96 per cent), Zhivko Todorov in Stara Zagora (68.63 per cent) and Stanislav Dechev in Haskovo (51.03 per cent). In Kurdzhali, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms’ Hassan Azis won 55.57 per cent of the vote.
In many major cities in Bulgaria, the October 27 mayoral vote did not produce a clear winner, meaning that in Sofia, Plovdiv, Rousse and several other places, run-off elections will be held on November 3.