Election Campaign Kicks off in Bulgaria on 11 July

Campaigning officially opens Friday for the July 11 general elections in Bulgaria. The elections were scheduled by a presidential decree May 12 after a short-lived 45th National Assembly failed to form a government and the President had to dissolve it and form a caretaker government.

According to official statistics, 23 formations - parties or coalitions - will try to win as many as they can of the votes of 6,711,048 eligible voters.

By June 10, 45,231 declarations were submitted for opening overseas voting sections but more are expected as the deadline expires June 15. The most declarations are reported in Turkey (16,363), the UK (8,741), Germany (6,486) and Spain (2,561). Central Election Commission member and spokesperson Tsvetozar Tomov said there will be 800 or more overseas sections, which is an all-time high. The final number is due to be determined by June 18.

Votes from overseas sections are an important factor in Bulgarian elections.

Voting will be done by machines after the latest revisions to the Election Code left paper ballots in use only as an exception, and securing machines for overseas voters and more than one machine for the large sections is a major challenge for the election administration. BTA

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