Bulgaria holds local elections
Topics: BULGARIA LOCAL ELECTIONS
The polls opened at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 8:00 p.m.
By exception, if voters are still waiting outside the polling site at 8:00 p.m., voting may continue until 9:00 p.m.
Balloting is taking place in 11,866 voting sections in Bulgaria only.
Exit poll results may not be made public and commented on by politicians, pollsters and journalists before 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Eligible voters for the 2019 local elections number 6,227,901 (including 770 nationals of other EU Member States resident in Bulgaria who declared their desire to vote).
The Central Election Commission has registered 59 parties and seven coalitions for the local elections.
Registered candidates for the 2019 local elections total 36,251, of whom 1,254 for mayors of the 265 municipalities (an average of 4.7 per position), 5,041 for mayors of the 1,968 mayoralties, 463 for mayors of the 35 boroughs (24 in Sofia, six in Plovdiv and five in Varna), and 29,493 for 5,178 municipal councillor seats (including eight nationals of five other EU Member States: Romania, the UK, Poland, the Netherlands and Greece).
The largest number of municipality mayoral candidates, 20, has been registered in Sofia, followed by Plovdiv (14), Blagoevgrad and Shoumen (13 each).
Thirteen Bulgarian non-governmental organizations are monitoring the elections with the help of some 2,137 observers.
Two foreign organizations have registered observation missions: the Tallinn City Office, Estonia, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.
Eight agencies are conducting exit polls on polling day: Sova 5, Gallup International Balkan, Alpha Research, AFIS, Trend, the Exacta Research Group, Strategic Analysis and Marketing, and Market LINKS. ■