Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov has won a second five-year term, according to exit polls. President Parvanov won between 78 and 80 per cent of votes said state polling agency NPOC. The result of the run-off election was seldom in doubt and is sure to be called a landslide when it is made official. The incumbent’s rival, Volen Siderov, leader of the National Attack Party, campaigned on a xenophobic anti-EU platform that was firmly rejected by voters.
His poor result is bound to be met with relief. Siderov’s showing in the first election caused considerable unease both inside and outside Bulgaria on the eve of the nation’s entry into the EU. When it becomes an official member in January 2007, Bulgaria will be the EU’s poorest member. Voter turnout was 35 per cent.