Bulgaria’s president asks third party to form a government

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian President Rumen Radev on Monday handed a mandate to the third-largest political party in parliament to form a government after two previous attempts have failed.

Although the chances of the Socialist Party’s success are dim, its floor leader, Georgi Svilenski, said his party would invite the three other groups in the former coalition to give it a new try.

Svilenski told Radev that he would make every effort...

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SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian President Rumen Radev on Monday handed a mandate to the third-largest political party in parliament to form a government after two previous attempts have failed.

Although the chances of the Socialist Party’s success are dim, its floor leader, Georgi Svilenski, said his party would invite the three other groups in the former coalition to give it a new try.

Svilenski told Radev that he would make every effort to see the mandate fulfilled, because the public needed calm and certainty.

The move comes after the two main groups in parliament — the reformist We Continue the Change party and the center right GERB party — failed to end the European Union and NATO member’s latest political crisis amid soaring tensions with Russia.

The ouster of the pro-Western Cabinet of Kiril Petkov, who took office last December pledging zero tolerance for corruption, helped pave the way toward a new election, which analysts expected to bring a stronger presence of nationalist and pro-Russia groups in parliament.

The Socialists have said that they will propose that the candidate prime minister should come from the We Continue the Change party, given it is the largest group in parliament.

If the coalition talks fail, which analysts say is more than likely, the president must dissolve parliament, appoint a caretaker government, and schedule another early parliamentary election,

The vote would be held in early October, and it would be Bulgaria’s fourth parliamentary election since April 2021.

Political analysts expect that a new vote could have a similar outcome and deepen the political impasse that has gripped the European Union’s poorest member.

They also expect political instability to hinder Bulgaria’s ability to tap the EU’s coronavirus economic recovery fund and disrupt its path toward adopting the euro currency in 2024.

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