Maya Manolova (right), leader of the Bulgarian political movement Stand Up.BG, casts her vote in Sofia on April 2.
Voters in Bulgaria are casting their ballots on April 2 in the country's fifth parliamentary election in two years with opinion polls suggesting this latest vote will again fail to deliver a result that will break the political gridlock gripping the EU's poorest nation.
Initial exit poll results will be announced after polls close at 8 p.m. Preliminary results are expected to be released on April 3.
More than 5,600 candidates representing 14 political parties and seven party coalitions are registered for the election to the 240-member National Assembly, Bulgaria's single-chamber parliament. A party must secure at least 4 percent of ballots cast to secure seats in parliament.
Turnout is expected to be low due to voters' apathy and disillusionment with politicians, as well as a spate of bomb threats this week that forced the closure of hundreds of schools set to function as polling stations for Sunday's vote.
WATCH: There are concerns over possible political fraud after it was decided Bulgarians voters would be able to use paper ballots as well as electronic voting machines that are considered less susceptible to manipulation.
The vote is being monitored by observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe who will hold a press conference on April 3 to present their preliminary conclusions
"We are going to have a very difficult electoral night," predicted political scientist Daniel Smilov in comments earlier this week to RFE/RL. "I hope that the government will manage to prevent widespread manipulation."
Smilov, an associate professor at the University of Sofia, said the vote is unlikely to end the country's political impasse.
"Unfortunately, I don't see a kind of easy and very fast resolution to the situation," he said.
Most polls found former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's center-right GERB party running neck-and-neck at around 26 percent with its main rival, Kiril Petkov's liberal We Continue the Change party, which formed a coalition with the right-wing Democratic Bulgaria ahead of the vote.
"We have the greatest opportunities for maneuver," Borisov said on April 2 after casting his ballot in Bankya.
For his part, Petkov told journalists that he voted for "a normal European life."
" I voted to have a normal European government," he said after voting in Sofia.