Sofia [Bulgaria], July 11 (ANI/Xinhua): Bulgarians all over the world went to the polls, a second time in three months on Sunday to vote in the country's early parliamentary elections.
More than 6.7 million voters are eligible to elect 240 lawmakers from 15 political parties and eight coalitions, according to official data.
As many as 13,005 polling stations opened across the country at 7 am local time (0500 GMT) and are due to close at 8 pm (1800 GMT), the Central Election Commission of Bulgaria said.
Meanwhile, 782 more ballot boxes are available in 68 countries for Bulgarians living abroad to cast their ballots from 7 am to 8 pm local time on Sunday, the Foreign Ministry said.
Polling stations in New Zealand opened first, followed by those in Australia. Election day abroad will end the latest in San Francisco, the United States, the ministry said.
According to the country's legislation, parties and coalitions need to gain at least 4 per cent of the votes to enter the parliament. The votes received by those failed to enter the parliament will be redistributed proportionally to the qualified parties and coalitions.
Exit polls will be announced immediately after stations closed in Bulgaria, and official results are expected on Thursday.
The previous parliamentary elections in Bulgaria were held on April 4 this year. The then ruling party GERB together with its ally Union of Democratic Forces got only 75 seats and failed to form a government, while both of "There Is Such A People," the second-largest party in the parliament with 51 seats, and Bulgarian Socialist Party, the third largest party in the parliament with 43 seats, refused the proposal by Bulgarian President Rumen Radev to form a government.
Therefore, in accordance to the country's constitution, Radev has signed a decree on the holding of new parliamentary elections, dissolved the National Assembly, and appointed a caretaker government. (ANI/Xinhua)