EU Shambles: Bulgaria Set for Fifth Election in Two Years as Socialists Fail to Form Government

The leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party Kornelia Ninova speaks to media in Sofia on March 26, 2017, after her party lost the country's parliamentary election in a race with the pro-EU centre-right GERB party. Boyko Borisov, the karate-chopping comeback specialist of Bulgarian politics, appeared to have done it again …
NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP via Getty Images

OFIA, Bulgaria (AP) – Bulgaria will hold another parliamentary election – its fifth in two years – after the Socialist Party on Tuesday announced that it had failed to form a government and had returned the unfulfilled mandate to the country’s president.

“We have done everything necessary to fulfil the third mandate,” party leader Kornelia Ninova said, adding that despite setting clear national priorities at the talks with the other parties, “there was not enough will to form a working government.”

It was the third and final opportunity to form a Cabinet in this parliament. The European Union’s poorest member is now heading toward elections yet again.

Before the Socialist attempt at forming a coalition, the two strongest groups in Bulgaria’s parliament – the center-right GERB party and the reformist We Continue the Change party – had each tried and failed to find enough support to lead their own governments.

President Rumen Radev will now dissolve parliament, appoint a caretaker government and schedule another election, to be held most likely in April.

Analysts expect another election would again produce a fragmented parliament that will struggle to find a compromise and cobble together a working coalition government.

The continuing political crisis is expected to put a brake to Bulgaria’s plans to join the euro zone at the end of this year, as well as the timely receipt of billions of euros in EU recovery funds.

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