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Tens of thousands of Bulgarians join pro- and anti-government rallies

Tens of thousands of supporters of the main political parties are gathering in Bulgaria's two biggest cities at pro- and anti-government rallies, which reflect the deep division that has paralyzed the Balkan nation for months.

At Saturday's rally in Sofia, supporters of the governing coalition of the Socialists and an ethnic Turkish party came to express solidarity with the cabinet. In the second biggest city of Plovdiv, backers of the center-right GERB party accused the incumbents of incompetence and demanded early elections.

The Socialist-backed government took office in May, but ever since has been facing street protests fueled by concerns about corruption. Late last month, students staged full and partial blockades at a number of universities.