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Exit polls suggest Bulgaria’s rightist GERB party has a narrow lead in the country’s parliamentary elections.
The party of former prime minister Boiko Borisov was set to win 31 percent of the votes, ahead of the Socialists on 25 to 27 percent.
However, GERB’s prospects of forming another government – after the last one was ousted following protests over poverty and alleged corruption – look uncertain. The party’s potential partner, the nationalist Attack, has ruled out a deal.
Dozens of anti-GERB protesters gathered in Sofia as the polls closed on Sunday, some scuffling with police.
Turnout in the election was the lowest in post-communist history. The lead-up has also been hit with claims of fraud.
The possibility of no outright winner will stoke fears of further instability in Bulgaria, where unemployment is close to an eight-year high.