SOFIA, Bulgaria – On Sunday Bulgarians will go to the polls for presidential and municipal elections that will test the popularity of the center-right party in power and the ability of the EU to ignore the concerns of corruption surrounding the election.
The economic problems of Bulgaria were the main subject of the election campaign, the opposition accusing its opponents of having delayed the implementation of major reforms. The country will have a new president and the fight promises to be hot in many of its 264 municipalities.
International observers, however, expressed doubts about the validity of the elections on Sunday and fraud in this area would destroy the hopes of Bulgaria to join the Schengen area, which allows citizens of member countries to move freely the territory.
So far, the EU has refused to include Bulgaria because of corruption in the country.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe warned that Sunday’s election could result in the large-scale fraud and Transparency International has predicted that 20 percent of Bulgarian voters would sell their vote.
In Bulgaria, the Prime Minister and Parliament hold the most power. But the president leads the army has a right to veto laws adopted and can sign international treaties.
The outgoing president of the country, the Socialist Georgi Parvanov, won two terms of five years and was prohibited to run for another.
It should be replaced by former Minister of Construction Rosen Plevneliev, the polls provide winner with about 30 percent of the vote.