Bulgaria votes to elect President, Parliament

Bulgarians went to the polls on Sunday to elect a President and a National Assembly.

As many as 23 candidates, including current President Rumen Radev, are running for President, while 20 parties and seven coalitions are taking part, reports Xinhua news agency.

Nearly 13,000 polling stations across the country and 750 more in 68 other countries opened for 6.7 million eligible voters.

The first exit polls will be announced immediately after polls close in the evening.

The official result of the presidential election must be released no later than Tuesday evening, with those for Parliament on Thursday.

The President is elected directly by the people for a period of five years.

To be elected, a candidate requires more than half of the valid ballots, provided that more than half of all eligible voters have cast their ballots in the election.

Radev’s term will expire at the end of January 2022.

The National Assembly is Bulgaria’s legislative body. It has a four-year term and parties and coalitions need to gain at least 4 percent of votes to enter Parliament.

This will be the third parliamentary election this year.