GERB's Plevneliev has narrow lead in tight presidential race - poll

GERB's Plevneliev has narrow lead in tight presidential race - poll

Ruling party GERB's candidate in Bulgaria's October 23 presidential elections, Rossen Plevneliev, has a narrow lead over his two significant rivals but much depends on how the various camps conduct their campaigns in the coming weeks, it emerged from a Mediana agency opinion survey, the results of which were released on September 18 2011.The poll gave Plevneliev, formerly regional development minister in Prime Minister Boiko Borissov's Cabinet, 43 per cent, while Meglena Kouneva - a former European Commissioner nominated by a non-party committee - had 39 per cent and Ivailo Kalfin, the MEP and former foreign minister put up by the Bulgarian Socialist Party-dominated Coalition for Bulgaria, had 33 per cent.Meanwhile, the close of the period for registration for the presidential elections - which for the first time are being held on the same day as municipal elections - has made it possible to confirm who is contesting the elections.* GERB has Rossen Plevneliev, with Justice Minister Margarita Popova as his vice-presidential running mate* On the socialist ticket with Kalfin is well-known actor and former culture minister Stefan Danailov* Kouneva's running mate is Lyubomir Hristov* Nationalists VMRO have nominated party leader Krassimir Karakachanov and Daniela Dimitrova* Ultra-nationalist Ataka leader Volen Siderov is the party's presidential candidate, with running mate Pavel Shopov* Union of Right Forces, Roumen Hristov and Emmanuel Yordanov* Order Law and Justice: Atanas Semov and Polya Stancheva* Alexei Petrov and Nikolai Georgiev (initiative committee)* United People's Party: Maria Cappone and Nikolai Kisyov* Dimitar Kutsarov and Kamelia Todorova (initiative committee)* Ventsislav Yosifov and Vladimir Slavov (initiative committee)* National Front for Salvation of Bulgaria: Stefan Solakov and Galina Vasileva* For the People of the Nation: Pavel Chernev and Anelia Dimitrova.* Svetloslav Vitkov and Ventsilav Mitsov* Nikolai Vassilev and Vladimir Savov (initiative committee)* Nikolai Nenchev and Zheko Ivanov from an agrarian party* Andrei Chorbanov and Angel Mirchev from Bulgarian Democratic Unity* National Movement Unity: Sali Ibrayim and Valentina GotsevaMediana said that if elections were held today, the results for candidates other than the main three would be: Karakachanov 11 per cent, Siderov 10 per cent, the centre-right's Lyuben Hristov eight per cent, Alexei Petrov five per cent, the last-mentioned a tie with Order Law and Justice's Semov.Mediana's director Nikola Kolev said that Kouneva was attracting votes from left and right-wing supporters, raising the possibility that Kalfin would drop out after the first round of voting.The outcome of the contest between Kouneva and Kalfin would be determined by supporters of Ahmed Dogan's Movement for Rights and Freedoms, who currently were divided almost evenly between the two main non-GERB candidates and who refused to vote for GERB's Plevneliev./Source: The Sofia Echo/

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