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Bulgaria: Kremlin-leaning candidate set to win presidential election run-off

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By Euronews
Bulgaria: Kremlin-leaning candidate set to win presidential election run-off

<p>The outcome could see the Black Sea state move closer to Russia. Bulgarians go to the polls in a presidential election run-off on Sunday – and a man friendly towards the Kremlin is expected to win. </p> <p>Former air force commander General Rumen Radev, who stands as an independent allied to the Socialist Party, has expressed tolerance for Russian moves in Ukraine. </p> <p>He also favours easing Western sanctions on Moscow.</p> <p>Bulgaria already relies on Russia for most of its energy, military equipment and tourism revenues. </p> <p>Two opinion polls show ruling party candidate Tsetska Tsacheva is trailing Rudev.</p> <p>A win for the independent would put Bulgaria at odds with its EU and <span class="caps">NATO</span> allies.</p> <p>It would also likely trigger months of political instability, with Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, of the centre-right <span class="caps">GERB</span> party, having said that he’ll step down if his candidate loses. </p> <p>Rudev is winning over Bulgarians frustrated with a political elite they see as corrupt and selfish. </p> <p>Almost 10 years of the country joined the EU; many of its people are also feel their problems are too low down the priority list in Brussels.</p> <p>In Bulgaria, the government and parliament wield most power but the president can veto legislation once, appoint some key officials and is also chief commander of the armed forces.</p>