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Further Bulgarian Instability Expected After Inconclusive Vote

Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov
Bulgaria appears headed for more political and economic instability after inconclusive early elections in the European Union’s poorest member state.

Preliminary results from the elections on May 12 showed that the center-right GERB party of former Prime Minister Boiko Borisov won the most votes but was far short of being able to form a majority in the 240-seat parliament.

With nearly all ballots counted, GERB had nearly 31 percent, followed by the Socialists with 27 percent.

The mainly ethnic-Turkish MRF party and the nationalist Ataka party also passed the 4 percent threshold.

Prospects for Borisov to form a coalition government are dim because at least two other parties that won seats in parliament have refused to join him.

The early elections were called after Borisov resigned as prime minister in February following sometimes violent protests over poverty, high energy bills and corruption.

According to reports, protesters clashed again with police late on May 12 in Sofia.

Based on reportiing by AFP, dpa, and AP