- Title: Bulgarians vote in presidential elections
- Date: 6th November 2016
- Summary: SOFIA, BULGARIA (NOVEMBER 6, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF POLICE OFFICER WALKING DOWN CORRIDOR AND UNLOCKING POLLING ROOM DOORS OFFICIALS INSIDE POLLING ROOM OFFICIAL PUTTING STICKER ON VARIOUS OF OFFICIALS PREPARING FOR VOTING VARIOUS OF OFFICIALS STICKING NOTICES TO WALL VARIOUS OF OFFICIALS PREPARING FOR VOTING VARIOUS OF OFFICIALS SITTING AT TABLE VOTER BEING HANDED VOTING PAPERS / WALKING INTO VOTING BOOTH BALLOT BOX / OFFICIALS SITTING AT TABLE VOTER CASTING HER BALLOT PEOPLE STANDING OUTSIDE POLLING ROOM BALLOT BOX / VOTER AND OFFICIALS IN POLLING ROOM OFFICIAL WRITING ON POLLING PAPER MAN WALKING INTO VOTING BOOTH MAN CASTING HIS BALLOT PEOPLE STANDING IN CORRIDOR OUTSIDE POLLING ROOM
- Embargoed: 21st November 2016 07:35
- Keywords: Bulgaria election president voting
- Location: SOFIA, BULGARIA
- City: SOFIA, BULGARIA
- Country: Bulgaria
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00157B1PVR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Bulgarians started voting in a closely fought presidential election on Sunday (November 6) that could plunge the Black Sea state into political instability and push it toward closer ties with Russia.
Opinion polls show ruling party candidate Tsetska Tsacheva, 58, is likely to narrowly win the ballot but lose a subsequent runoff to Rumen Radev, 53, a Socialist Party ally who wants to end European Union sanctions against Moscow.
If Tsacheva does lose, Radev's Socialists and other opposition groupings could try to unseat the center-right GERB party's minority government and trigger early parliamentary elections, observers say.
That would lead to months of political uncertainty and a further slowdown in reforms, much needed after the collapse of Bulgaria's fourth largest bank and massive anti-corruption protests that helped GERB win parliamentary elections in 2014.
Public disappointment over reform progress eroded support for GERB, while Tsacheva is seen as lacking the charisma of Prime Minister Borisov.
Voting started at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) and polls close at 8 p.m.
Latest opinion polls showed parliament speaker Tsacheva winning, with 27.2-26.3 percent of the vote, against Radev's 22.5-23.1 percent.
Nineteen other candidates are also running and most polls show Radev could win a runoff vote on Nov. 13, which has to be held between top two contenders if no one wins an overall majority.
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