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Bulgaria Lurches Toward Fresh Elections After New Antiestablishment Party Can't Form Government

Led by television personality Slavi Trifonov (pictured), the TSN party took second place in parliamentary elections by tapping into frustration with endemic corruption and poverty.

Bulgaria's new antiestablishment party, There Is Such A People (TSN), says that it will not try to form a government, increasing the odds that the southeastern EU member will hold fresh elections.

The announcement on April 26 came after the center-right GERB party of longtime Prime Boyko Borisov recognized on April 23 that it had failed to form a government after coming first in parliamentary elections with just 26 percent of the vote.

TSN, led by television personality Slavi Trifonov, took second place in the elections with 18 percent of the vote by tapping into frustration with endemic corruption and poverty. Two other antiestablishment parties also made gains.

In a Facebook post, Trifonov said his party does not have the necessary number of deputies or partners to form a stable government and will not accept support from the traditional parties that it blames for Bulgaria’s problems.

"The support offered is from political entities that are harmful, greedy, and proven to be compromised. And this is not their support, but dependence," he said.

Former world chess champion Antoaneta Stefanova, who had been appointed by Trifonov for the post of prime minister, would immediately return the mandate to form a government to President Rumen Radev, Trifonov wrote.

Radev will now ask a third and final party to try to form a government, something analysts say is unlikely.

A third failure would lead the president to call new elections within two months.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters