Reuters: Bulgaria's Presidential Vote Could Herald Closer Russia TiesViews on BG | November 6, 2016, Sunday // 15:43| views
Socialist-backed candidate Rumen Radev casting a ballot in the presidential election on November 06. His win may bring closer ties with Russia, Reuters argues. File photo, BGNES
The highly contested election for head of state in Bulgaria "could trigger political instability in the Black Sea state and push it towards closer ties with Russia," Reuters says.
In a report released as polls were opening on Sunday morning, the agency cites polls that project a narrow win in the first round and a defeat in the runoff for the center-right GERB party's candidate, Tsetska Tsacheva.
Rumen Radev is described as a "Socialist Party ally who wants to end European sanctions against Moscow". (He registered as an independent candidate raised by an initiative committe, but is fully backed by the largest opposition party, BSP.)
An attempt to unseat the GERB-led minority government could be triggered by a defeat of Tsacheva that would "lead to months of political uncertainty and a further slowdown in reforms" much needed after the collapse of the country's fourth-largest lender, KTB, and the anti-government protests of 2013-2014.
The story is available here.