Pro-Russian candidate wins Bulgaria presidency

BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – Rumen Radev, the candidate of the main opposition Socialist Party won the second round of the presidential elections in Bulgaria on Sunday, exit polls showed.

The former Air Force commander and retired general won 58.1 percent of the vote, becoming president of the small Black Sea state.

With the victory, opposition parties could try to force an early general election.

Radev has pledged to foster better relations with Russia and remove EU sanctions that were imposed for Moscow’s role in the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“Democracy in the country won the status quo,” Radev said while addressing the media.

“I will not forget any promise and I will fulfill them all,” he added.

Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva garnered just 35.3 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced he would resign Nov. 16 at the first meeting of parliament.

While the country is a member of NATO and the EU but many in Bulgaria still have a favorable view of ties with traditional ally Russia.