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Bulgaria: Election Campaign Begins

Sofia, 20 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Thirty-one political parties and coalitions have met filing requirements, and have been officially registered for next month's parliamentary elections. Bulgaria's Central Electoral Commission today announced that seven parties failed to meet yesterday's filing deadline.

As official campaigning opened today, out correspondent reports state-owned radio and television featured what were called "introductory addresses" from candidates.

Bulgarian media cite polls that suggest candidates - associated with the current, pro-reform interim Government - have a large lead over candidates of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and other leftists.

Our correspondent also notes that at this point, experts believe only about five parties will win sufficient support for representation in Parliament.