Bulgarian President Rumen Radev says he will set July 11 for early parliamentary elections after a third and final attempt to form a government following April 4 polls that led to a fragmented parliament failed.
Radev said on May 5 that the appointment of a new electoral commission is expected to be finalized on May 11, after which he would then call the election, dissolve parliament, and appoint an interim government.
Under the constitution, if the national assembly fails to form a cabinet after three attempts, the president should dissolve parliament, appoint a caretaker government, and schedule an early election within two months.
On May 1, the Socialists, third-place finishers in the April 4 election, became the third party to fail to form a government.
Previously, both the center-right GERB party of outgoing, three-time Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the new antiestablishment party, There Is Such A People (TSN), led by television personality Slavi Trifonov, failed in their attempts to form a government.
While Borisov’s GERB came in first in the election, frustration over endemic corruption and poverty has cut support for the party to 26 percent.
The TSN, which came in second with 18 percent of the vote, and two other antiestablishment parties made inroads, although the three together need other partners to gain a majority in the chamber.
The political uncertainty comes as Bulgaria prepares to spend billions of euros from the EU’s coronavirus recovery fund and chart a path out of the pandemic.