Socialist-Backed Candidate Wins First Round of Bulgaria's Presidential Election
The candidate backed by Bulgaria's biggest opposition force is widening his lead on Tsetska Tsacheva, the contender of the main ruling party, the final count showed.
With 100% of ballot protocols processed, Rumen Radev's support is estimated at 25.45%, while Tsacheva has earned 21.97% of the vote, the Central Election Commission (CEC) says [BG].
The figure translates into 973 408 votes for Radev and 843 396 for Tsacheva.
The result also highlights a substantial "protest" vote of 5.52%, that surpasses the result of some candidates earlier thought as potential frontrunners.
The third-best result is for Krasimir Karakachanov, nominated by a nationalist alliance, who mustered 14.95% of the vote.
Veselin Mareshki, the businessman who scored as surprising success in the vote, earned 11.18%, according to the total count.
He is followed by the DPS-backed candidate, ex-PM Plamen Oresharski, whose result is 6.63%, and Traicho Traikov with 5.87%.
Ivaylo Kalfin, nominated by left-wing ABV party, got 3.38%, while Movement 21 leader Tatyana Doncheva garnered 1.82%.
George Ganchev got 0.74%.
Turnout was more than 54%.
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