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Bulgarian ruling party fails to meet deadline to form new government

Efforts to form a new government in Bulgaria missed the crucial Friday afternoon deadline to find a parliamentary majority, raising the probability of early elections.

Sofia, 8 July 2022 (dpa/MIA) – Efforts to form a new government in Bulgaria missed the crucial Friday afternoon deadline to find a parliamentary majority, raising the probability of early elections.

Finance Minister Assen Vassilev returned the charge of finding a majority in parliament to President Rumen Radev. Both are of the pro-western PP party.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to gather sufficient support,” he said.

The support of 121 parliamentarians is necessary to form a government. The PP itself only has 67 lawmakers and is, therefore, reliant on coalition partners.

Before new elections are called, two other parties will be charged with forming a government in the coming weeks. The second largest party GERB, led by former prime minister Boyko Borisov, already announced on Friday that it will hand the charge back immediately.

It is not yet clear which party will be the third to try, but if it should fail, new elections will have to be held – the fourth since April 2021.

Petkov’s four-party-coalition lost its parliamentary majority in June after the populist ITN party, led by entertainer Slavi Trifonov, left the coalition.

The ITN split over disagreements regarding the government’s stance on North Macedonia and its financial policy. The other two coalition partners – the socialists and the conservative-liberal-green alliance DB, as well as some members of ITN – had remained loyal to the government.

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