Baku, November 6, AZERTAC
After a 30-day campaign and a day of reflection, Bulgarians are going to the polls on Sunday to elect a new President, according to Bulgarian news agency BTA. These are Bulgaria's first presidential elections governed by the new Election Code and the fifth in the democratic history of the country. The presidential vote is held simultaneously with a national referendum where voters are asked to support or reject the introduction of a two-round majoritarian system for parliamentary elections and compulsory voting and a 90.9 per cent reduction of subsidies for political parties.
According to the Directorate General of Civil Registration and Administrative Services with the Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, eligible voters for the 2016 presidential elections number 6,834,278. A total of 21 candidates are running for the President’s office. They cut across the political spectrum: left, right, centrist and nationalist. Incumbent President, Rosen Plevneliev, said as early as on May 20, 2016 that he will not seek re-election.
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. Balloting will take place in 12,418 voting sections in Bulgaria (excluding those at hospitals and prisons), grouped in 7,062 polling sites, and 325 sections abroad in 71 countries (53 in the UK and 35 each in the US and Turkey). For the first time in any elections in Bulgaria, voting on November 6 is compulsory, according to BTA.