Bulgaria’s Socialist Party has renounced plans to propose a new coalition government after failing to form a majority in parliament, a development that promises fresh elections in the autumn for the EU and NATO country.
President Rumen Radev will now have to appoint an interim government before fresh elections can be held, most probably in October.
The Socialists had made a third and final go in the bid to form a government after the coalition government of pro-Western reformist Prime Minister Kiril Petkov resigned last month following a no-confidence vote.
“What happened today showed Bulgarians who is on which side of this dividing line — the people and parties who want to fight corruption and those who want to protect corruption,” Georgi Svilenski, a senior member of the Socialist party, told reporters on July 27.
The Socialists agreed with their partners in the outgoing government on a six-month program to fight widespread graft and offer measures to help businesses with surging prices, but failed to secure the support of a former ally, the ITN party.
The Socialists’ attempt force a vote in parliament on their governing program was rejected by deputies, clearly showing their lack of a majority.
The extended political blockage amid surging inflation and war in Ukraine is likely to endanger access to billions of euros in EU recovery funds for Bulgaria, the bloc’s poorest member state, and hurt prospects of joining the euro zone in 2024.
-Radio Free Europe