Local Elections 2015: Bulgaria Holding Runoff Vote
A run-off vote of Bulgaria's local elections is being held in 1128 villages, towns and cities across the country on Sunday.
In 970 of them voters are picking mayor, while others are to elect district or municipal mayors.
A total of fourteen regional centers, out of Bulgaria's 28 regions, will take part in the mayoral race. In the other 14, mayors were elected in the first round. In 10 of these, the main ruling party GERB's candiate was reelected for another term in office.
In Bulgaria's capital Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova won a third term in office last week. Some districts, however, are now holding a vote for a district mayor after none of the candidates secured majority in the first round.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second-largest city, is also the biggest one where an election is taking place on Sunday.
Ivan Totev, the incumbent mayor and candidate of the largest ruling party GERB, will face Slavcho Atanasov, former mayor and candidate of the Patriotic Front (PF).
Dimitar Stoykov, the incumbent mayor of Pleven and candidate of GERB, will face Georg Spartanski, the candidate of a local coalition.
The run-off in Sliven pits against each other the incumbent Socialist mayor Kolyo Milev against the GERB candidate Stefan Radev.
Run-offs between candidates of Bulgaria's two largest parties are also to take place in Shumen, Pernik and Lovech.
Detelina Nikolova, the incumbent mayor of Dobrich and candidate of GERB, will face Yordan Yordanov, the candidate of the junior coalition partner – the Reformist Bloc (RB).
GERB candidates are also to contest the run-offs in all remaining regional centers, namely Haskovo, Pazardzhik, Vratsa, Vidin, Targovishte, Silistra and Razgrad.
In most cases they will face independent nominees or candidates of local coalitions, as is the case in Haskovo, Pazardzhik, Vratsa, Vidin, Silistra and Razgrad.
In Targovishte, Darin Dimitrov of GERB will face Emine Yakubova, the candidate of DPS.
The remaining regional centers of Sofia, Varna, Burgas, Ruse, Stara Zagora, Yambol, Blagoevgrad, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Kardzhali, Montana and Smolyan elected their mayors in the first round.
Polls will remain open until 19:00 local time (EET), with the option to extend voting day if there are still queues in front of some stations.
Sunday's vote comes against the backdrop of a voting chaos that followed the first round, and a number of vote buying allegations.
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