Bogus Weather Reports, Match Results, Comics Beat Exit-Poll Ban in Bulgaria
Bulgarian media beat a ban on the release of intermediate results from voting in the early general elections by using a number of tricks, including bogus weather reports, as cover to pass on runners' likely standings.
Like the Audrey Hepburn character in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," who relays coded mafia messages to a jailed don, the news agencies beat a close-of-voting 8:00 pm (1700 GMT) legal embargo with some curious temperatures and results, which they followed throughout the day.
As the capital Sofia saw a regular May day with temperatures hovering around 20 degrees Celsius, BGNES agency reported that at noon temperatures near the headquarters of the ruling GERB party were a bit above 29 degrees Celsius compared to 29 degrees near the Socialist Party headquarters.
In other words up to that moment, the formerly ruling center-right GERB party of Boyko Borisov was winning more than 29% of all votes, while the Socialists were trailing behind, but still very close.
Meanwhile, Pik agency reported that at noon temperatures near “Borisova garden” in Sofia were 29 degrees Celsius compared to 29.5 degrees near the so-called “Stanishevo field”.
In other words up to that moment the recently ousted center-right GERB party, headed by former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, was winning nearly 29% of all votes, while the Socialists, headed by Sergey Stanishev, were beating it with a slight lead.
Winds were blowing at 11 metres per second, the agency added, indicating 11% turnout.
Blitz agency played on football matches between a number of clubs, the top being “General” and “The Red Squadrons’, a coded reference to the candidates of the center-right GERB and Socialist parties. The forecast result at noon was 29.5-28.
Dnevnik daily came up with a very colorful idea how to beat the exit poll ban and published comics with shadows of people and an inscription, which is a coded message to identify the party. The percentage of editors in the newspaper Newsroom who liked that comic most served as a coded message for where the party of the pictured leader stands in the general elections.
The first official exit poll results will be released at 8:00 pm (1700 GMT) or an hour later if the election day needs to be extended. The first partial official results are due the morning after.
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