Sofia: The ruling centre-right party`s candidate has a comfortable lead in Bulgaria`s presidential race before next weekend`s run-off, suggesting voter support for painful economic reforms.
The Central Election Commission said on Monday the GERB party`s Rosen Plevneliev had 39.73 percent of Sunday`s vote with 78.71 percent of the ballots counted. In the October 30 run-off, he will face Ivailo Kalfin, of the opposition Socialist Party, who had 29.44 percent.
Plevneliev, the former construction minister, has pledged to support Prime Minister Boiko Borisov`s drive to reduce the impoverished country`s budget deficit and pursue business-friendly policies.
Besides the vote for a new president, heated mayoral battles took place in many of the country`s 264 municipalities.