Bulgaria's Varna Elects Metropolitan on 2nd Try

Society | December 15, 2013, Sunday // 12:21|  views

The vote to elect a new metropolitan is already underway in Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Varna. Photo BGNES

The Diocesan Council is making Sunday a second attempt to elect two candidates for Varna and Veliki Preslav metropolitan, after the first vote was annulled by the Bulgarian Holy Synod.

The vote is already underway in the Black Sea city of Varna.

On Sunday, November 24, the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church decided to cancel the first round of the vote for metropolitan bishop of Varna and Veliki Preslav.

The decision came after representatives of both clergy and laity said they have grounds to believe that the election was rigged.

The first round vote, which took place on November 17, elected Bachkovo Monastery abbot Boris and little-known bishop Ignatius as contestants for the second round.

Prior statements made by controversial abbot Boris and the virtual non-electability of bishop Ignatius were among the reasons cited for believing the vote was pre-arranged.

The Holy Synod decided that a first-round local vote will be held again December 15 in Varna, while the second-round canonical election will be held a week after.

The Varna and Veliki Preslav metropolitan bishop seat became vacated - or "widowed" in Bulgarian Orthodox Christian parlance - after the July mystery drowning death of controversial former bishop Kiril.

There are 13 candidates total – the youngest is 37, the oldest – 68.

The vote is secret and each voter must circle 2 names on the ballot. The two collecting the most votes are declared elected. If no one gathers sufficient support (50% + 1), there will be a runoff.

If there are no violations, the Holy Synod will make the choice between the two frontrunners on Sunday, December 22.

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Tags: Bachkovo Monastery, Varna, Veliki Preslav, Bishop Kiril, Holy Synod, Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Boris, Ignatius


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