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Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007, 01:08 GMT 02:08 UK
Poll blow for Bulgaria Socialists
By Nick Thorpe
BBC News, Sofia

Voters in Bulgaria
The poll was Bulgaria's first-ever for European Parliament members
Bulgaria's governing Socialist party has suffered a setback in European parliamentary elections, which have ended with no clear winner.

The Socialists' coalition partner, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which represents the large ethnic Turkish minority, had a strong showing.

The mayor of Sofia's opposition party, Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria, also fared well.

Turnout was low, with barely 30% of the electorate voting.

There were also thunder storms and almost tropical downpours in parts of Bulgaria.

But the election proved more interesting than many had predicted, with the ethnic Turkish party and the opposition party of Sofia's mayor, Boiko Borisov, capturing much of the protest vote.

The ultra-nationalist Attack Movement also did well and can expect three seats in the European parliament.

The three front-runners will win four or five seats each, depending on the final count.

Former King Simeon's movement, which governed Bulgaria until the last elections, came a distant fifth.

Country profile: Bulgaria
27 Apr 07 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Bulgaria
20 Mar 07 |  Country profiles

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