Election campaign starts today
The official start of the Bulgarian presidential election campaign and local elections for 264 municipalities starts today with polling day on 23rd October.
There are a total of 18 candidates standing for the presidential post.
The frontrunner according to two recent opinion polls is Rosen Plevneliev of the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB). In a poll by Alpha Research he is on 38.5% of the vote. In a second poll by Mediana he has 29.1%.
Plevneliev’s closest rival is Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) candidate, Ivailo Kalfin. In the Alpha poll he is on 23.5%, fifteen percentage points behind. In the Mediana poll he has 21.9%, just over seven percentage points behind.
The third candidate is ex EU commissioner Meglana Kuneva who is standing as an Independent. In the Alpha poll she is on 18.4% and in the Mediana poll she has 14.1%.
Other candidates are well below the ten percentage mark.
Should the election go to a second round runoff then the polls show that Kuneva would do much better. The Mediana poll gives Plevneliev 43%, Kuneva 39% and Kalfin 33% in this scenario.
The current president, Georgi Parvanov, has completed his second term and is not eligible to stand again. The president is not allowed to be a member of a political party and he resigned his membership of the BSP in 2002 when he was first elected.