Bulgaria to hold runoff vote for president

Runoff elections will be held today for Bulgaria’s presidential post. The first round of Bulgaria’s presidential elections was held last

Photo: Szilard Koszticsak/EPA-EFE/Hungary Out

Runoff elections will be held today for Bulgaria’s presidential post.

The first round of Bulgaria’s presidential elections was held last Sunday, alongside a third round of parliamentary elections, following the country’s second failure to form a government this year. Bulgaria’s presidential candidates failed to receive more than the 50% vote threshold needed to win the election outright.

Last week, incumbent President Rumen Radev—backed by anti-graft parties—won 49.4% of the vote. His opponent, Anastas Gerdzhikov—backed by former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov’s center-right GERB party—received 26.5% of the vote. Whichever candidate attains a majority of votes today will become president.

As Radev received almost double the votes of his opponent, it is highly likely that he will be re-elected in today’s runoff. Although the presidential post remains largely ceremonial, presidents nonetheless retain the powers of commander-in-chief of Bulgaria’s military and the abilities to appoint caretaker governments and dissolve parliament. With the centrist We Continue the Change party having won 25.5% of the vote in the parliamentary elections, exceeding the GERB party’s 22.5%, expect Radev—who is anti-GERB—to dissolve parliament if We Continue the Change cannot consolidate its lead and establish an anti-graft coalition to form a government.

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