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Borisov secures slim victory in Bulgaria election

Bulgarian ousted premier Boyko Borisov's party came first in tense elections Sunday but fell short of a majority, exit polls showed, setting the scene for political stalemate and fresh protests. Three months after the biggest demonstrations in years prompted the former bodyguard to tender his government's resignation, Borisov's GERB party won between 30.3 and 33 percent of the vote, the exit polls showed.

Anger, apathy and distrust as Bulgaria votes

Bulgarian pensioner Stefka Popova takes a dim view of the politicians running for office in elections Sunday in the EU's poorest member state. "I won't vote. They've lost all respect for their own people," the retired metallurgy worker told AFP as she sold newspapers in Sofia to supplement her meagre pension. Her anger was exacerbated by the discovery on Saturday of 350,000 illegal ballot papers at a printing firm whose owner is reportedly close to the former prime minister's party.

AFP World News Agenda

What's happening around the world on Sunday: -- TOP STORIES -- + Sharif declares victory in Pakistan election + Turkey reels from twin bombings near Syria border ISLAMABAD: Nawaz Sharif declares victory for his centre-right party in Pakistan's landmark elections, as unofficial partial results put him on course to win a historic third term as premier (PAKISTAN-UNREST-VOTE)

Rightist GERB holds lead in Bulgaria's election

By Tsvetelia Tsolova and Sam Cage SOFIA (Reuters) - The rightist GERB party held the lead in Bulgaria's election on Sunday but its prospects of forming another government, after the last one was ousted by protests, looked uncertain after its potential partner ruled out a deal. Turnout was the lowest in post-communist history, at around 53 percent, reflecting the disaffection with the political elite in a country where unemployment is close to an eight-year high.

Final polls predict tight Bulgarian election

Bulgaria's main parties are headed for a close race in Sunday's elections, final polls suggested Friday as analysts predicted a hung parliament and fresh protests in the EU's poorest country. According to eight new opinion surveys, former bodyguard ex-premier Boyko Borisov's GERB party is forecast to be the top vote-getter, only three months after resigning amid Bulgaria's biggest unrest in years.

New self-immolation in Bulgaria

A Bulgarian man set himself on fire in the southern town of Smolyan on Wednesday, police said, bringing to seven the number of self-immolations since February in the EU's poorest country. Ventsislav Kozarev, 47, was hospitalised in a serious condition with third-degree burns over seventy percent of his body, Smolyan regional police chief Kiril Hadzhihristev told state BNR radio. The official said "personal problems" were behind the desperate act as the man was divorcing his wife.

Wiretap scandal hits Bulgaria's ex-PM ahead of vote

A scandal about alleged wiretapping of political opponents of incumbent Bulgarian premier Boyko Borisov is starting to hurt his re-election chances in May, analysts and opinion polls suggested Friday. Adding to his troubles, Sofia's chief prosecutor Nikolay Kokinov also resigned Friday after leaked wiretaps showed he discussed a bribery probe against ex-farming minister Miroslav Naydenov with Borisov and Naydenov himself.

Wiretap scandal hits Bulgaria's ex-PM ahead of vote

A huge scandal about the alleged wiretapping of outgoing Bulgarian premier Boyko Borisov's political opponents is starting to hurt his re-election chances in May, analysts and opinion polls suggested Friday. According to pollsters Mediana, Borisov's right-wing GERB party, although still in first place, has slipped from a score of 26.4 percent in early April to 23.3 percent last weekend.

Indictments in Bulgaria over wiretap scandal

Four Bulgarian interior ministry officials were indicted on Tuesday over the alleged wiretapping of outgoing premier Boyko Borisov's political opponents, Sofia prosecutors said. The head of the ministry's surveillance unit Sergey Katsarov and his two predecessors Tsvetan Ivanov and Kamen Kostov were charged with disregarding their duties and facilitating unregulated wiretapping dating back to 2009. Another official was being probed for trying to cover up the case by allegedly destroying the illegal recordings.

Bulgarian anti-mafia chief charged with corruption

The head of Bulgaria's anti-mafia bureau was charged with corruption on Friday after documents surfaced indicating he protected drug traffickers in exchange for thousands of euros, prosecutors said. Between 1999 and 2002, before he became director of the GDBOP anti-mafia bureau in 2009, Stanimir Florov apparently had irregular dealings with drug traffickers and traffickers of other illegal goods, the Sofia prosecutor's office said, citing documents it had received from an anonymous source.
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