Mayor Candidates in Bulgaria's Newest Municipality to Face Each Other in Runoff
The first local elections held Sunday in Sarnitsa will have a second round this week after the newest municipal unit in Bulgaria, produced no clear winner.
Sarnitsa, a municipality in the southwest, will have to decide between Nebi Bozov from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) and current mayor Mustafa Alikanov, backed by the main governing Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party.
Nebi Bozov has a nearly 15-percent lead, having garnered nearly 40% of the votе.
The vote was carried out amid high voter turnout, which stood at 75%.
Sarnitza formed a separate municipality on January 1, 2015. Is population is almost entirely Muslim, and so were all four candidates from GERB, the DPS, the Reformist Bloc (22.73%), and a smaller party called New Alternative (1%).
A new element was introduced to local elections in Sunday's vote, with locals being able for the first time to use the preference tool to pick municipal councilors.
The local poll comes just months ahead of local elections in Bulgaria this autumn.
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