SOFIA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Bulgarians went to the polls Sunday to elect 17 members of the European Parliament for the third time in the country's history.
The new, eighth European Parliament will be constituted on July 1 after elections were held from Thursday to Sunday. A total of 751 members elected will represent more than 500 million citizens in the 28-member European Union.
More than 6.5 million eligible Bulgarian voters will choose among 310 candidates from 15 political parties and six coalitions, as well as three independent candidates.
Some 11,500 polling stations across the country opened at 6:00 a.m. local time (0400 GMT) and is due to close at 7:00 p.m. (1700 GMT). In addition, 168 ballot boxes in 35 countries are available for Bulgarians living abroad.
The exit polls will be announced immediately after polls close, and the official results are expected Wednesday.
Last week, Kolyo Kolev, director of the Mediana Polling Agency, projected that the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party would take the lead by garnering 26 percent of the vote, with a marginal error of 1.5 percent.