Several thousand people are protesting in Bulgaria's capital to demand that the nation's Socialist-backed government step down to make way for early elections.

Sunday's rally was organized by students who have been occupying universities for several weeks. Their actions are part of a 5-month-old movement against the government that accuses its leaders of having ties with shady businessmen.

The latest rally was held on the 24th anniversary of the end of communism in Bulgaria, which began its transition to democracy.

The protesters blocked major intersections in central Sofia. Many carried images of embattled Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, depicting him as a zombie. Some demonstrators burned their pictures.

Riot police cordoned off the main government buildings, but no clashes or injuries were immediately reported.