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Bulgaria to hold presidential election on October 23

16 june 2011, 10:31
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Meglena Kuneva officially announced her candidacy for the country's next presidential vote this fall. ©AFP
Meglena Kuneva officially announced her candidacy for the country's next presidential vote this fall. ©AFP
The Bulgarian parliament on Wednesday named October 23 as the date for its upcoming presidential election, with local elections also likely to be held the same day, AFP reports.

Bulgaria's head of state, who has a largely ceremonial role, is elected for a five-year term via a simple majority vote by 6.5 million eligible voters.

The current president Georgy Parvanov, whose second term ends in January, will not be running again, as there is a two-term limit.

Since no president has ever won an outright majority in the first round, a second run-off vote has already been scheduled for October 30.

So far, there are three candidates in the race to succeed Parvanov: Bulgaria's first EU commissioner Meglena Kuneva, who is running as an independent candidate; the leader of the far-right Ataka party, Volen Siderov; and Rumen Hristov of the right-wing Blue Coalition party.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's ruling right-wing GERB party, which has fallen in the popularity ratings recently, has yet to name a candidate.

Borisov has denied speculation he himself will run, but promised to name a "non-partisan and well-known" candidate in early September.

Parliament also decided to hold local municipal elections at the same time as the presidential vote, but Parvanowv has yet to formally announce the date.

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