Mayoral Race in Bulgaria's Varna Registers Record Low Turnout
The mayoral elections in Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Varna are taking place amid a record low turnout.
By 1:30 pm on Sunday, a total of 25 023 Varna residents had cast ballots, out of a total of 290 000 with voting rights, setting voter turnout at 8.59%, according to reports of Sega daily.
The extraordinary mayoral elections in Bulgaria's third-largest city were organized after Kiril Yordanov, longtime Mayor of Varna, resigned after weeks of mass protests against the impact of shady business group TIM over the Varna district, as well as the poor governance of the city.
The demonstrations also tragically included a number of fatal self-immolations, many of them due to poverty and personal distress.
In Varna, 36-year-old Plamen Goranov, dubbed by some "Bulgaria's Jan Palach", perished after setting himself on fire in an act of protest against the corruption plaguing the city.
A total of nine candidates are running for Mayor of Varna, including four independent candidates and five nominees of political parties, among whom former ruling GERB party candidate Ivan Portnih and local businessman Veselin Mareshki.
A runoff, if necessary, will be held on July 7.
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