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Bulgaria's President - 64%, Nationalist Run-off Rival - 21, 5%

Date: 23.10.2006

The nearly final results from Bulgaria's presidential elections on Monday morning altered slightly, as the Central Elections Commission processed larger number of the votes.

Bulgaria's Socialist president Georgi Parvanov garnered 64.033 % of the votes, while the rival he will face at the run-off, leader of ultra-nationalist party Attack Volen Siderov won 21.491% of the votes.

Parvanov's other main rival, the hardliner right-wing candidate Nedelcho Beronov ranked third with 9.737 % of the counted votes.

Fourth came the other rightist runner Georgi Markov, former constitutional judge and a symbolic figure of Bulgaria's transition to democracy. Markov, who ran together with young businesswoman Maria Ivanova, garnered 2.716% of the votes.

Nationalist president candidate Petar Beron, who split away from the Ataka (Attack) party after entering the election run, far-left General Lyuben Petrov, sided by charming actress Neli Topalova, and the third nationalist presidential pair, nominated by United Bulgaria - Union of the Bulgarian Nationalists, Grigor Velev and Gen. Yordan Mutafchiev, all gathered less than one percent each.

Parvanov ran together with Vice President Anguel Marin as an independent, but had the backing of the governing Socialist Party. An eventual victory would make him the first politician to win re-election, as no president has ever been re-elected since the collapse of the communist regime in 1989.

A total of about 11,400 polling sections across the country were opened for citizens to vote and more than six million Bulgarians were eligible to partake in the elections. The sites in the capital only were guarded by almost 2,000 police officers.

Sofia News Agency

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