Bulgaria politics

Bulgaria political crisis deepens third election looms

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Bulgaria’s second largest party GERB of former long-serving premier Boyko Borissov, on Friday (August 20) became the second political party to give up trying to form a new government since last month’s inconclusive parliamentary poll. The Balkan country appears headed for yet another election, the third one this year.

President Rumen Radev had asked centre-right GERB to try and lead Bulgaria after the ITN party of Slavi Trifonov,  a popular TV personality and singer, which narrowly won the July 11 parliamentary elections, abandoned efforts to form a minority government.

But with just 63 seats in the fractured chamber of 240 lawmakers, just behind ITN’s 65, GERB is well short of a majority and other parties have refused to cooperate with it due to public anger over entrenched corruption.  Four other parties also made it into the 240-seat chamber.

According to the Constitution, Radev must, within seven days,  ask a third party to try to form a government, but political analysts say its chances of success look limited.

Bulgaria Election Results 11 july 2021

If it fails, as expected, Radev will have to dissolve parliament once again, appoint another interim government so the country would continue to be governed by a caretaker cabinet and call a snap election within two months.

Elections held in April also resulted in a deadlocked parliament that failed to produce a government, forcing Radev to appoint a caretaker cabinet to lead the EU’s poorest member state until the July election was held.

Political analysts also predict that a new vote, the latest attempt to solve the political deadlock, could have a similar outcome, creating a political vacuum that could hamper Bulgaria’s ability tap into the EU’s multibillion coronavirus Recovery Fund.

“The uncertainty might, in addition, affect the timetable for euro-area accession,” Dennis Shen, an analyst with Scope rating agency told Reuters.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, Novinite