Bulgaria Heads for Knife-Edge Presidential Race

With less than a week to go before the presidential elections in Bulgaria on November 6, the likely winner is proving difficult to predict.

Latest polls have shown that the successor to President Rossen Plevneliev, backed in 2011 by Bulgaria's governing centre-right GERB party, will not be elected in the first round on Sunday.

Different polling agencies, however, are far from unanimous on who will win the elections - GERB's candidate, Tsetska Tsacheva, or former air force chief Rumen Radev, supported by GERB's main rival, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP.

According to a survey by Gallup International Bulgaria announced on Friday, Tsacheva leads with 20.3 per cent electoral support while the left-wing candidate is behind on 16.3 per cent.

"The intrigue in the presidential elections deepens and the outcome of a potential second round between Tsacheva and Radev is becoming more unclear," the polling agency said on Friday.

Gallup suspects that despite Tsacheva's current lead, Radev is more likely to win the second round with a slight difference. Some 32.1 of the participants in the survey declared that they would support the ex-General in that round compared to 31.3 per cent for Tsacheva.

Alpha Research, another major polling agency, gave Tsacheva a bigger lead in the first round on November 6, with 29.3 per cent support compared to Radev with 21.4 per cent.

But is said it also expects a "dramatic second round", refraining from giving a forecast on the likely result.

In line with rising nationalistic sentiments in Bulgaria, in third place after Tsacheva and Radev comes Krassimir Karakachanov.

A vice-president of parliament, he was nominated by a coalition of far-right parties, VMRO, the National Front for...

Continue reading on: