Bulgaria’s Presidential Race: Voting in Turkey Marred by Irregularities

Domestic | November 13, 2016, Sunday // 17:33|  views

Screen capture: BNT

Long queues have been forming as tens of thousands of Bulgarian expatriates in Turkey are voting in Bulgaria’s presidential runoff on Sunday.

As many as 20 336 people in Turkey have voted as of 14:00, Foreign Ministry data says. A BNT correspondent showed hundreds lining up before the polling stations.

Some of these had trouble filling the voter declaration since the latter were written in Bulgarian and some of the expats speak little or no Bulgarian.

“Some mistake Cyrillic for Latin letters,” the correspondent says.

Election authorities have barred people other than voters themselves from filling their own Bulgarian-language declarations as friends and relatives accompanying some people in the queue have engaged in such practices more actively in the first round.

It is the time it takes to fill out the declarations that prompts the delays, according to the BNT.

High voter turnout has been recorded in Bursa, one of the key Turkish cities on the European mainland where a large compact Bulgarian Turk population has lived for decades.

In the UK, however, queues have been much smaller than in the first round, when many people who had waited for hours to vote failed to make it to the ballot box when polls closed.

Many have been lining up since the small hours of the day to take part in the election. Voting, however, goes more smoothly as most of the Bulgarian expats already filled out their declarations back in the first rounds.

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Tags: Bursa, queues, turkey, UK, Presidential elections, Bulgarians abroad


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