Bulgarian Patriarch to Be Elected at RunoffSociety | February 24, 2013, Sunday // 12:06| views
The Holy Synod building in downtown Sofia. File photo
Metropolitans from Ruse, Neofit, and from Lovech, Gavriil, have collected the most votes in the election of the new Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church by the Holy Synod's national church council.
Neofit has received 72 ballots, Gavriil – 45, white the third candidate - Stara Zagora metropolitan Galaktion has 22.
There will be, most likely a runoff since none of the candidates managed to collect two thirds of the votes (92 out of a total of 138 delegates casting ballots). Four ballots have been invalid.
Galaktion is seriously ill with pneumonia, and is not attending the council.
Bulgaria's Patriarch Maxim, who led the Church since 1971, passed away on November 6, 2012, at the age of 98.
The election is historic for Bulgaria as the last one happened 42 years ago, on July 4, 1971.