Bulgaria’s 2023 local elections: Most cities head to run-off in mayoral elections

Nineteen cities serving as the administrative centres of districts in Bulgaria are heading to run-off mayoral elections on November 5 after the first round of voting did not produce decisive winners.

In eight such cities, mayors were elected in the first round on October 29. The names on the ballots for the run-off, held between the two candidates who got the most votes in the first round, were also known.

Although final results were not yet known in the capital city Sofia, where Central Election Commission data as of 5pm on October 30 showed 97.3 per cent of precincts reporting, the gap between second and third appeared insurmountable.

We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria-Spasi Sofia candidate Vassil Terziev had the lead with 31.9 per cent and was set to face Vanya Grigorova, backed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and Levitsata, the left-wing grouping of BSP splinter parties, who was second with 21.6 per cent. Anton Hekimyan, backed by Boiko Borissov’s GERB party, was in third with 17.8 per cent.

In the other cities serving as the administrative centres of districts, with the vote count complete, the contests will be between the following candidates (percentages indicate the share of the vote in the first round):

Blagoevgrad: Incumbent Ilko Stoyanov (independent backed by GERB) with 27.1 per cent and Metodi Baikushev (WCC-DB) with 21.8 per cent.

Varna: Incumbent Ivan Portnih (GERB) with 26.6 per cent and Blagomir Kotsev (WCC-DB) with 21.6 per cent.

Veliko Turnovo: Incumbent Daniel Panov (GERB) with 42.4 per cent and Yordan Terziyski (WCC-DB) with 21 per cent.

Vidin: Incumbent Tsvetan Tsenkov (Union of Democratic Forces) with 37.4 per cent and Alexander Mateev (GERB) with 19.2 per cent.

Gabrovo: Incumbent Tanya Hristova (GERB) with 47.2 per cent and Daniel Petrov (Vuzrazhdane) with 11.4 per cent.

Dobrich: Incumbent Yordan Yordanov (local coalition) with 27.2 per cent and Krassimir Nikolov (GERB) with 21.9 per cent.

Kyustendil: Incumbent Petar Paunov (local coalition backed by GERB) with 28.5 per cent and Ognyan Atanassov (Greens) with 26 per cent.

Lovech: Valentina Nedyalkova (GERB) with 30.1 per cent and Stratsimir Petkov (ITN) with 19.3 per cent.

Pazardzhik: Incumbent Todor Popov (local coalition) with 39.3 per cent and Petar Kulenski (WCC-DB) with 16.2 per cent.

Pleven: Valentin Hristov (GERB) with 19.4 per cent and incumbent Georgi Spartanski (local coalition) with 18.4 per cent.

Plovdiv: Kostadin Dimitrov (GERB) with 33.7 per cent and Ivailo Staribratov (WCC-DB) with 17.9 per cent.

Razgrad: Miroslav Grancharov (WCC-DB) with 23.7 per cent and Dobrin Dobrev (local coalition) with 18.8 per cent.

Rousse: Incumbent Pencho Milkov (BSP) with 37.1 per cent and Ivan Ivanov (GERB) with 15.3 per cent.

Silistra: Alexander Sabanov (independent) with 46.7 per cent and Ivelin Ivanov (GERB) with 35.5 per cent.

Sliven: Incumbent Stefan Radev (GERB) with 37.7 per cent and Plamen Stoyanov (Direct Democracy) with 21.7 per cent.

Smolyan: Incumbent Nikolai Melemov (GERB) with 26.4 per cent and Stefan Sabrutev (local coalition) with 20.6 per cent.

Haskovo: Incumbent Stanislav Dechev (GERB) with 47.7 per cent and Nikolai Stavrev (independent) with 20.1 per cent.

Shoumen: Hristo Hristov (BSP) with 26.7 per cent and Georgi Kolev (GERB) with 21.6 per cent.

(Photo: Interior Ministry)

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