Bulgarians elect new parliament amid pandemic

SOFIA, Bugaria — Bulgarians are heading to the polls on Sunday to cast ballots for a new parliament after months of anti-government protests and amid a surge in coronavirus infections.

The 12,000 polling stations opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m. for the 6.7 million eligible voters who are electing 240 lawmakers.

The vote is widely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The 61-year-old macho-style political maverick has led his center-right GERB party with an iron grip for more than a decade and now hopes to win his fourth term in office.

Exit polls will be announced immediately after voting ends. Preliminary results are expected around midnight Sunday.