Bulgaria's Restive Varna Votes for Mayor, 9 Runners in Race
The citizens of Bulgaria's third-largest city of Varna, on the Black Sea coast, are going to the polls on Sunday to elect a new mayor.
Early March, longtime Varna mayor Kiril Yordanov resigned after weeks of street protests against social economic stagnation, and the influence of shady business group TIM over the city and region.
The Varna rallies triggered Bulgaria's January and February 2013 protests that led to the resignation of then-PM Boyko Borisov and calling of early elections May 12.
They also tragically included a number of fatal self-immolations, many of them due to poverty and personal distress.
In Varna, young man Plamen Goranov, dubbed by some "Bulgaria's Jan Palach", perished after setting himself on flame as an act of protest against corruption in the city.
Nine candidates are running in Sunday's vote, including former ruling GERB party candidate Ivan Portnih and local businessman Veselin Mareshki.
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