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Bulgaria’s presidential election heading for run-off

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-23

Bulgaria's presidential election was headed for a second round run-off after none of the candidates managed to garner 51 percent of the vote on Sunday, according to the first exit polls.

AFP - The candidate of Bulgaria's ruling right-wing GERB party, Rosen Plevneliev, was leading Sunday's presidential race, according to the first exit polls, but the race looked headed for run-off.

The popular former construction minister was leading the vote with 41.1-percent support, ahead of Socialist candidate and European deputy Ivaylo Kalfin on 26.8 percent, according to Gallup institute exit polls.

Bulgaria's former European commissioner Meglena Kuneva, who ran as independent, was trailing in third with 15.5 percent.

The vote was headed for a second round run-off on October 30 because no candidate had garnered 51 percent of the vote and voter turnout failed to reach 50 percent.

Analysts, who had seen Kuneva as an extremely powerful contender for the presidency if she managed to make the run-off, were now predicting an easier final win for Plevneliev.

Allegations of vote-buying concerns had marred the run-up to the vite and and the refusal of half of all respondents in eve-of-ballot polls to reveal their choice of candidate left pollsters puzzled.

A survey last week by corruption watchdog Transparency International suggested that one in five Bulgarians were ready to sell their vote in Sunday's elections.

The vote also covered elections for local mayors and representatives in 264 local councils.

The first, partial official results are not expected until early Monday.

Date created : 2011-10-23

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