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Parvanov Claims Victory In Bulgarian Presidential Election

Georgi Parvanov (file photo) (CTK) October 30, 2006 -- Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov has claimed victory in his country's runoff presidential election and looks set to remain in office for a second five-year term.

Partial official returns released on October 29 show Parvanov received some 73 percent of the vote, easily defeating his ultra-nationalist challenger Volen Siderov, who got around 27 percent.

Parvanov told his supporters celebrating at his election headquarters: "The result was expected, because we were better."

Last week's advance of the ultra-nationalist Siderov, during the first round of voting, shocked many. Siderov opposed Bulgaria's entry into the European Union, which will occur on January 1, 2007. He also expressed contempt for NATO, national minorities, and globalization.