Voting opens in Bulgaria’s April 4 parliamentary elections

Polling stations opened on April 4 for Bulgaria’s parliamentary elections, with 6985 candidates – from a total of 22 political parties, eight coalitions and some independents – vying for a place in the 240-seat National Assembly.

Voting is scheduled to end at 8pm, while the law allows electoral officials to extend voting time for those still in the queue at a polling station at that time.

Those in quarantine had until March 31 to apply to use a mobile ballot box. Ballot boxes also have been provided to a number of hospitals.

Those who entered quarantine from April 1 onwards should not be able to vote, but Central Election Commission spokesperson Dimitar Dimitrov told television station bTV on April 2 that those who broke quarantine to come to vote would not be turned away. Breaking quarantine to vote would be for their own account, he said.

There are 11 983 stationary polling stations, with 9398 offering the option of machine voting.

There are 465 polling stations outside Bulgaria. Abroad, the election process began at 9pm Bulgarian time, when voting opened in New Zealand. The final places to vote will be the states of California, Arizona and Nevada in the United States, where polls close at 6am on April 4, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said.

Up to 8pm Bulgarian time, it is illegal to publish the outcome of exit polls. However, some Bulgarian-language media are expected to use social networks to skirt this ban.

The Sofia Globe will publish pollsters’ first projections about the election result soon after 8pm.

The Central Election Commission said that it would hold three briefings in the course of April 4, at 11am, 2.30pm and 6pm. These would be streamed live on its Facebook page, the CEC said.

The Sofia’s Globe factfile about Bulgaria’s April 2021 National Assembly elections may be found at this link.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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