Bulgaria’s third election in eight months looks to be a tight race with exit polls putting the former ruling GERB party just slightly ahead of the newly created centrist party We Continue the Change (PP).
It remains to be seen if either party will be able to form a coalition government, but there’s hope that the new PP party could become a potential kingmaker.
The new anti-corruption movement launched by two forty-year-old interim government ministers was about on par with the GERB party, according to two exit polls. A Gallup poll put the PP party ahead of GERB.
There Is Such a People (ITN), headed by pop singer and former TV star Slavi Trifonov, was set to lose a considerable number of points after failing to form a coalition over the summer.
Voters in Bulgaria took to the polls once again on Sunday after inconclusive general elections in April and in July and amid a surge of coronavirus infections.
Bulgaria has the lowest vaccination rate in the European Union, with less than one-third of adults fully vaccinated.
There are two elections in one this time around.
Incumbent President Rumen Radev is running for a second five-year term and is expected to make it to a November 21st runoff vote. Exit polls showed him winning around 49% of the vote in the first round.
Turnout was low in Bulgaria at nearly 26% by 16:00, the Central Election Commission said. Around 6.7 million voters are eligible in this election.
There are 240 seats up for grabs in the parliament with seven main political groupings competing.
It’s likely that the election will result in weeks of negotiations in trying to form a coalition, with three parties attempting to do so before new elections are called.