Bulgarians vote on Sunday in an instant poll after a previous election in April produced a fragmented parliament that failed to form a viable coalition government.
The latest opinion polls suggest that the replay could produce similar results, but also a further decline in support for former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov’s GERB party, after the current caretaker government made public allegations of widespread corruption during his reign.
Bulgaria, a member of NATO and the EU, has been repeatedly criticized for not tackling corruption and for shortcomings in the rule of law and media freedom.
The anti-corruption campaign by opponents of Borisov was further bolstered by sanctions imposed last month by the US Treasury against several Bulgarian officials and business leaders for corruption.
Polls suggest a close race between Borisov’s party, which came first in April with more than 26% of the vote, and its main rival, the anti-elite There is such a people led by famous TV host Slavi Trifonov.
The opposition Socialist Party is ranked third, followed by the liberal anti-corruption group Democratic Bulgaria and the Turkish ethnic party MRF.
The new center-left alliance Stand Up! Mafia Out !, which emerged after last year’s anti-government protests, is expected to cross the 4% mark to enter parliament.
According to political analyst Dimitar Ganev, Borisov is unlikely to return to power for a fourth term, whether or not the GERB ends up leading the election, as most political groups have rejected the idea of cooperating with the GERB. former ruling party.
The 12,000 polling stations close at 8 p.m. There are 6.7 million eligible voters who elect 240 lawmakers. Preliminary results are expected around midnight Sunday.