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Bulgaria: Parvanov Wins Presidency

Sofia, 19 November 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Bulgaria's incumbent President Petar Stoyanov conceded defeat late last night in yesterday's runoff presidential election. Socialist Party leader Georgi Parvanov declared himself the winner of the poll before results were announced. Provisional results gave Parvanov about 53 percent of the vote, compared to 47 percent for Stoyanov. The Central Election Commission said voter turnout was 54.5 percent. The election commission said late last night that final official results are not expected until tomorrow.

Earlier reports said they were due to be released today. Parvanov said the poll is a victory of an idea of a revival of Bulgaria which reflects people's desire for a profound change.

He said he will continue Bulgaria's drive to join NATO and the European Union. He also said it is "extremely important" for Bulgaria to revive its relations with Russia, Ukraine, and other "strategic partners."

Stoyanov said his greatest pain is for the people who voted for him. He also said he was just one step away from victory but that, "probably I have made a lot of mistakes."