Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bulgarians vote in election unlikely to soothe anger

Bulgarians voted on Sunday in an election forced by protests over poverty and corruption, with expectations of a close result that could leave the poorest European Union country without a working government.

The rightist GERB party, which resigned after violent demonstrations in February, is running neck-and-neck with the Socialists. GERB pledges to keep debts under control, while the Socialists say they will spend more and create jobs.

But six years after Bulgaria joined the European Union, disaffection with the political elite as a whole is widespread in a country of 7.3 million where unemployment is close to an eight-year high.

On the eve of the election state security officers seized 350,000 illegal ballot papers.