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Bulgaria: Former King Gets Final OK For Election

Sofia, 3 May 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Bulgaria's former king has won the right to participate in a general election on 17 June, but will have to run on the ticket of two small parties. The Central Election Commission said it voted late yesterday to register a coalition of the two parties under the name of National Movement Simeon the Second. The decision was made on the last day of registration.

A movement of the same name, founded by Simeon II last month, was initially barred from the ballot by a court ruling its documents were not in order. Simeon then turned to two obscure but officially registered parties to win a place on the ballot.

Simeon returned to Bulgaria last month after spending most of the past five decades in exile.

Simeon's coalition has yet to present a detailed economic program but the former monarch's pledges to battle corruption and poverty have won his coalition wide public support.