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Bulgaria's Gabrovo Elects New Mayor June 19

Date: 28.04.2010

The citizens of the central town of Gabrovo will elect a new mayor on June 19, it emerged on Monday after the president penciled in a date for the partial vote.

The municipality of Gabrovo has approached the president, asking for the state to cover the expenses for the elections, which have been estimated at between BGN 80 000 – BGN 100 000.

Iva Nikolova, a Bulgarian journalist, known best for her biting comments on hot topics, is the only nominated runner so far. She has been backed by the right-wing parties in the Blue Coalition.

Gabrovo will hold local elections after mayor Tomislav Donchev became the new minister in Bulgaria's conservative government appointed to speed up the ability to use European Union funds.

Bulgarians have pinned lots of hopes on the minister, who is expected to control the proper use of European Union subsidies, prevent fraud and clean up its record with the EU.

The European Commission froze in 2008 a total of EUR 825 M in pre-accession aid to Bulgaria and subsequently axed EUR 220 M over corruption concerns.

Bulgaria's new center-right government, which swept the elections in July, has made attempts to shake off the country's reputation for rampant graft and crime.

Three ministers from the previous government have been charged with abuse of power and embezzlement and are expected to appear in court soon.

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