Reuters International

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria's president will not run for a second term in October's election, he said on Friday, just days after he decided to challenge parliament's rejection of his veto on a change to voting rules.

Reformist Rosen Plevneliev has tried to counter growing populist and nationalist movements in Bulgaria, that called for closer links with Russia, by pushing ahead as quickly as possible with its integration into NATO and the European Union.

"I do not agree with meaningful reforms in the country like the judicial reform and the anti-corruption law giving way to political machinations over the forthcoming elections," he said.

"I cannot accept anti-democratic actions seeking political legitimisation through the convenient explanation the presidential election campaign has already started."

On Thursday, his ruling centre-right GERB party asked him to delay his plans to challenge parliament in the Constitutional Court, promising that it would change articles in the election code relating to Bulgarians voting rights abroad.

GERB, however, also rejected Plevneliev's veto in an attempt to maintain the minority government's stability after a centre-left party withdrew its support last week over disagreements on policy and the changes to the election code.

Plevneliev, elected president in 2011 after winning a run-off against a Socialist opponent, had won popular acclaim as construction minister for a highway building project.

None of the other parties has yet to announce its candidate for the elections.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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