Bulgarians vote in presidential runoff election

This combo picture, created on November 10, 2016, shows Bulgarian presidential candidates Rumen Radev (L) and Tsetska Tsacheva. (By AFP)
People in Bulgaria have headed to the polls to elect a new president in a runoff set to determine whether the country will politically tilt to the East or West.
The choice on Sunday is between pro-Russia Rumen Radev, 53, backed by the opposition Socialist Party, and the speaker of parliament, Tsetska Tsacheva, a 58-year-old lawyer and member of Prime Minister Boiko Borisov’s pro-European Union (EU) center-right party.
In the first round of the voting, Radev won 25 percent of the votes followed closely by Tsacheva, who bagged 22 percent.
Borisov, whose Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) Party, has won all national elections in the last decade, says he will resign if Tsacheva loses the runoff, opening the way to early parliamentary elections.
Radev, on the other side, is a military commander who has attracted many Bulgarians fed up with government corruption and graft.
Presidential candidate Rumen Radev leaves the polling station with his wife during a runoff election in Sofia, Bulgaria, November 13, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
A former NATO fighter pilot, Radev has pledged to maintain Bulgaria’s membership in NATO but has also said that “being pro-European does not mean being anti-Russian.”
Tsacheva, seeking to become Bulgaria’s first female president, is expected to continue her party’s pro-EU foreign policy if she wins. She has attempted to rally other right-wing parties behind her, urging them not to allow Bulgaria, a former Soviet ally, “to return to the dark past.”
The country joined the EU a decade ago. It is the most impoverished member of the 28-nation bloc.
Many Bulgarians feel a cultural and historical attachment to Russia, however. And the country is dependent on Moscow for energy.