By VESELIN TOSHKOV
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarians on Sunday cast their ballots in a general election marked by a raging war nearby, political instability, and economic hardships in the European Union’s poorest member. It’s the fourth such election in 18 months. Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. local. First exit poll results will be announced after polls close at 8 p.m. and preliminary results are expected on Monday. Surveys ahead of the vote suggest that up to eight parties could muster the 4% threshold to enter a fragmented parliament where populist and pro-Russia groups could increase their representation. Many Bulgarians share pro-Russian sentiments, which provides a fertile soil for the aggressive Kremlin propaganda in the Balkan country.