Bulgaria President Front-Runner: We Promise Active, Non-Partisan Rule

Presidental & Local Elections 2011 | October 23, 2011, Sunday // 23:09|  views

Rosen Plevneliev. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Rosen Plevneliev, the ruling Bulgarian centrist-right GERB's presidential runner, who emerged as a leader in the first round, hаs promised to work actively and non-partisan for modern Bulgaria.

"Sunday's vote dethroned the myth that the vote of the ethnic Turkish people is monolithic. Besides this is the first time that a cabinet has been given such a huge vote of confidence in the middle of its term," Plevneliev told reporters.

"Vice President candidate Margarita Popova and I are industrious, honest and built our careers ourselves. We are pragmatic and are not afraid to fight."

"The two of us showed that we are strong members of the government. But we want to thank GERB party for supporting us. Our biggest advantage is that we are not members of any party," he said.

Bulgaria's former construction minister Rosen Plevneliev from the center-right party GERB of PM Boyko Borisov has emerged as the leader in Sunday's presidential elections.

However, Plevneliev failed to win outright and avoid a runoff in a week in Sunday's vote, whose turnout reached 47% first polls results show.

He has been forced into a second round with Ivaylo Kalfin, a former Foreign Minister from the opposition Socialist Party.

The result comes as no surprise as all polls had said that none of the 18 presidential candidates would manage to get more than 50% of the vote, and a runoff will be required on Oct. 30.

Plevneliev garnered 41.4% of the votes, according to Gallup polls, released by private bTV channel immediately after the last polling station closed at 7 p.m.

In the run-off next week, Plevneliev will face Ivaylo Kalfin, who won 26.8 % of the votes.

Plevneliev's other main rival, independent Meglena Kuneva, a former European Union commissioner, ranked third with 15.6 of the votes.

Plevneliev is running together with former Justice Minister Margarita Popova. His huge lead was facilitated by the lack of a real challenger in Bulgaria's opposition.

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Tags: Rosen Plevneliev, Ivaylo Kalfin, Presidential elections, elections 2011, 2011 elections, run-off, Meglena Kuneva, Volen Siderov, BSP, Bulgarian Socialist Party, GERB, Svetlyo Vitkov, Rumen Hristov, voter turnout


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