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Bulgaria holds early general elections

Bulgaria holds early general elections
EU country goes to polls for 4th time in 2 years in final attempt to form government

By Ihvan Radoykov, Talha Ozturk

BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Bulgaria went to the polls Sunday for early general elections for the fourth time in less than two years.

The snap elections are the third and final attempt to form a government in the country that failed this summer.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) was given a mandate on July 18 to form a government and officially returned it to President Rumen Radev.

The Balkan country has been marred by political instability since Prime Minister Kiril Petkov's government collapsed in a no-confidence vote in June.

Twenty-two political parties and six coalitions are competing in a 240-seat parliament in the European Union member state with 6.52 million people, where 1 million Turks and Muslims are part of the population.

The Central Election Commission (ZİK) said the voting process will be conducted digitally in 9,400 places in the country and 290 abroad.

The polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (GMT +1) local time.

A total of 11,063 machines will be used to enable voting in a digital environment.

Meanwhile, 8 million paper ballots were printed just in case.

Bulgaria will open ballot boxes across the world for its diaspora and dual citizens.

Turkey has the most with 166 ballot boxes.

Polls conducted at the beginning of the election campaign showed that at least eight political powers could pass the 4% entry threshold into Bulgaria's 48th parliament.

The Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party of former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who ruled the country for 12 years with short intervals until last year, is expected to win the most votes.

GERB participated in the campaign with the slogan “We are stronger than chaos.”

The We Continue to Change (PP) party, co-chaired by Petkov, was second in the parliament, according to the polls.

PP's slogan was "Let's finish our work."

The pro-Russian Bulgarian Socialist Party is among other forces with a chance to enter parliament along with Democratic Bulgaria and the pro-Russian former Defense Minister Stefan Yanev's Bulgarian Rise.

Also, Mustafa Karadayi, chairman of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (HOH) party, whose majority of members are Turks and Muslims, is expected to be among the four biggest powers of parliament in the election.

Three general elections were held in Bulgaria in 2021.

source: News Feed
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