Bulgaria's Varna to Choose Mayor

Domestic | July 6, 2013, Saturday // 14:24|  views

The Varna city council. Photo by BGNES

Saturday is the so-called "day of reflection" ahead of Sunday's runoff at mayor elections in Bulgaria's third-largest city, Varna.

Sunday's vote will face Bulgarian Socialist Party backed vice-mayor Hristo Bozov, against former Bulgarian ruling party GERB candidate Ivan Portnih.

At the first round of the elections last Sunday, Bozov came in first with 30%, followed by Portnih with some 27%.

Turnout was exceedingly low - only 25% of Varna's 290,000 voters went to the polls.

Early March, longtime Varna mayor Kiril Yordanov resigned after weeks of street protests against social economic stagnation, and the influence of shady business group TIM over the city and region.

The Varna rallies triggered Bulgaria's January and Feburary 2013 protests that led to the resignation of then-PM Boyko Borisov and calling of early elections May 12.

They also tragically included a number of fatal self-immolations, many of them due to poverty and personal distress.

In Varna, young man Plamen Goranov, dubbed by some "Bulgaria's Jan Palach", perished after setting himself on flame as an act of protest against corruption in the city.

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Tags: corruption, stagnation, TIM, Boyko Borisov, Kiril Yordanov, mayor, Varna, elections, protests, Plamen Goranov, self-immolations, GERB, Ivan Portnih, Hristo Bozov, Bulgarian Socialist Party


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