- Title: BULGARIA: VOTING IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BEGINS
- Date: 12th November 2001
- Summary: SOFIA, BULGARIA (NOVEMBER 11, 2001) (REUTERS) 1. SLV SOFIA STREETS SCENES WITH POSTERS OF ELECTION CANDIDATES (10 SHOTS) 0.36 2. SLV/MV PEOPLE VOTING AT VARIOUS POLLING STATIONS IN SOFIA (8 SHOTS) 1.08 3. SCU MEDIA; MV ELECTION CANDIDATE PETAR STOYANOV VOTING IN SOFIA (3 SHOTS) 1.22 4. SOUNDBITE (Bulgarian) ELECTION CANDIDATE PETAR STOYANOV SAYING "The main thing is to preserve our dignity. We are not one day politicians. Let us be able to look into the eyes of the Bulgarian people after the elections." 1.40 5. MV PETAR STOYANOV LEAVING 1.45 6. MV ELECTION CANDIDATE GEORGI PARVANOV VOTING IN SOFIA (4 SHOTS) 2.02 7. SOUNDBITE (Bulgarian) ELECTION CANDIDATE GEORGI PARVANOV SAYING "I would advise the Bulgarian people to choose a president who would stand for the poor, unemployed, young and all those who suffered the last ten years." 2.23 8. MV ELECTION CANDIDATE BOGOMIL BONEV VOTING IN SOFIA; MV MEDIA (2 SHOTS) 2.45 9. SOUNDBITE (Bulgarian) ELECTION CANDIDATE BOGOMIL BONEV SAYING "My friends are waiting for me now and we are going to ride our horses in the fields. This is the best thing to do." 2.51 10. WIDE OF BONEV SURROUNDED BY CROWD 2.55 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 27th November 2001 12:00
- Location: SOFIA, BULGARIA
- Country: Bulgaria
- Reuters ID: LVABSLCGIWVLD7R2FJJWQT40IJ0A
- Story Text: Bulgarians have begun voting for their next president
but reports of low early turnout appeared to reflect
widespread political apathy in one of the poorest European
Union candidate states.
Bulgarian polls early on Sunday (November 11) made
incumbent Petar Stoyanov the clear favourite but low turnout
may dent his hopes for a sweeping first-round win.
His rival in a second round could be decided by a thin
margin. It would be either Socialist party leader Georgi
Parvanov or former Interior Minister Bogomil Bonev.
A second round run-off will be held on November 18 if no
candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote or if turnout
is below 50 percent.
Voting started at 6 a.m. (0400 GMT).
The MBMD polling agency said turnout by noon was around 21
percent. That is half the level at the same hour in June's
People flocked to the polls in June to back a new movement
led by former King Simeon II -- now Prime Minister Simeon
Saxe-Coburg -- believing his promises to radically improve
living standards within 800 days and root out corruption.
Five months later, those hopes have faded.
Experts have said Stoyanov needs a turnout of over 60
percent to have a chance at a first round victory. In June,
the final turnout figure was 67 percent.
Stoyanov and Bonev, who had been locked in a war of words
during the campaign over corruption allegations, both said
they hoped turnout would grow in the second half of the day.
"The main thing is to preserve our dignity. We are not one
day politicians. Let us be able to look into the eyes of the
Bulgarian people after the elections," said Stoyanov.
After casting his vote Bonev had this to say to reporters:
"My friends are waiting for me now and we are going to ride
our horses in the fields. This is the best thing to do."
Parvanov stressed his refusal to become involved in the
bitter clash over corruption. "I would advise the Bulgarian
people to choose a president who would stand for the poor,
unemployed, young and all those who suffered the last ten
years," he said.
The presidential campaign pitting Stoyanov against five
other contenders was marred by charges of graft, further
alienating voters from the political establishment.
Many people said they would wait and vote in the run-off.
Prime Minister Saxe-Coburg has given Stoyanov lukewarm
support. Stoyanov is also backed by the previously ruling UDF
party, which helped him win in 1996.
The president has limited powers in the parliamentary
republic but is its public face abroad and will be pivotal in
helping Bulgaria meet its targets of winning an invitation
next year to join NATO and joining the EU by 2006.
Exit poll findings are due after polling stations close at
7 p.m. (1700 GMT).
Official partial results are expected late on Sunday or in
the early hours of Monday (November 12). Full results should
be announced by the Central Electoral Commission within 72
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