Bulgarian citizens living in Turkey submit votes

Bulgarian citizens living in Turkey submit votes

Bulgarian citizens living in Turkey submit votes

Bulgarian citizens living in Turkey vote in several cities. They can only cast their votes for the presidential election, not for local elections. AA photo.

Bulgarian citizens living in Turkey voted in some Turkish cities and towns for the presidential election in Bulgaria yesterday.

Officials said Bulgarian citizens cast their votes at polling stations in cities including Ankara, Istanbul, İzmir, Antalya, Bursa and towns near the border including Babaeski, Büyükkarıştıran, Kapaklı, Muratlı, Saray. Bulgarian voters living in Turkey cannot cast their votes for local elections but only for the presidential election.

A Bulgarian citizen of Turkish origin was also among the candidates of presidential election. Sali Şaban, born in Kardzhali, Bulgaria, said he was the first Turk and Muslim candidate to run for presidency in Bulgaria. The candidate of Bulgaria’s ruling center-right party, Rosen Plevneliev, was favored to win in yesterdays’ presidential elections that test the government’s popularity and the EU country’s ability to overcome concerns about vote-buying and corruption.

Voting was slow yesterday morning, with only 19 percent of the 6.9 million eligible voters casting their ballots by noon, the MBMD opinion research agency said. Bulgaria’s economic woes have been the key campaign issue, with the opposition accusing incumbents of stalling key reforms. The country will get a new president and heated mayoral battles are expected in many of the 264 municipalities.

Bulgaria’s current socialist president, Georgi Parvanov, has served two five-year terms and was barred from seeking re-election. Parvanov admitted he has not succeeded in his quest for national unification, and pointed out that the current campaign has gone too far in creating confrontations that should have been dealt with a long time ago in people’s minds.

Compiled from AA and AP stories by the Daily News staff.