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Bulgarians vote in close parliamentary poll


Bulgaria

Bulgarians vote in close parliamentary poll

Snap parliamentary elections are underway in Bulgaria in what is expected to be a closely-fought contest.

Amid a divisive electoral campaign dominated by relations with Russia, Turkey and the EU, no party is predicted to win an outright majority.

Heading into the vote, opinion polls put the centre-right GERB party of former prime minister Boiko Borisov slightly ahead on around 31 percent of the vote.

Burly former body guard Borisov quit as head of the government last November, after his strongly pro-EU GERB party failed to win the presidency. His move triggered the third parliamentary poll in Bulgaria in just four years.

Hot of the heals of GERB are the Socialists, led by 47-year-old Kornelia Ninova. They are projected to win around 29 percent of the vote. The party has vowed to improve ties with Moscow, even if it that means upsetting the EU.

A fragile coalition, however, is expected to be the most likely outcome, with Bulgaria’s ultra-nationalist party tipped to become potential kingmakers.