(DF) Bulgaria Holds Presidential Runoffs on Sunday

November 21 (BTA) – Bulgaria is voting for its sixth President in a runoff election on Sunday. Voters have to choose between President Rumen Radev, who is running for reelection and won the most votes in the first round a week ago, and runner-up Prof. Anastas Gerdjikov. Voting has already started abroad. The first voting section to open, at 20:00 hrs Bulgarian time, was in Christchurch, New Zealand, said the Foreign Ministry. In first-round voting on November 14, the Rumen Radev – Iliana Iotova ticket won 49.41 per cent of the vote (1,322,128 votes), while the Anastas Gerdjikov – Nevyana Miteva ticket won 22.82 per cent (610,710 votes). In the first round, voters could choose from among 23 pairs of candidates for president and vice president. Both candidates are running as independents. The incumbent President Radev is backed by Continue the Change, which won the November 14 parliamentary elections, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the There Is Such a People party, the Green Movement in the Democratic Bulgaria coalition and Rise Up BG! Here We Come!. Gerdjikov is backed by the GERB-UDF coalition. Radev and Gerdjikov held a 90-minute debate, aired by Bulgarian National Television, on November 18. Commenting on the most important topics, both candidates stressed the need for Bulgaria to have a Parliament-elected government. More than 6,700,000 Bulgarian citizens at home and abroad, who are aged 18 by polling day, are not interdicted and are not serving a custodial sentence, are eligible to elect a president and vice president. The polls opened at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 8:00 p.m. By exception, if voters are still waiting outside the polling site at 8:00 p.m., voting may continue until 9:00 p.m. Voting is taking place in nearly 13,000 voting sections in Bulgaria and in 750 voting sections in 68 countries. In the 9,399 domestic and 208 overseas sections with more than 300 voters, machine voting is the only method that can be employed. KK/LG/MY/DD