SOFIA -- Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has called snap parliamentary elections for July 11 after a vote last month resulted in a fragmented parliament that failed to produce a government.
In a separate decree signed on May 11, Radev appointed a close ally, his Security and Defense Secretary Stefan Yanev, as caretaker prime minister to lead the government until a cabinet is formed following the upcoming elections.
The 61-year-old Yanev also served as a deputy prime minister and defense minister in a caretaker government Radev appointed in 2017.
The caretaker cabinet's main tasks will be to ensure a fair election and manage the coronavirus pandemic as the European Union's poorest member state prepares to spend billions of euros from the bloc's recovery fund.
Radev's moves come after three failed attempts by the country's main parties to form a government following elections on April 4.
The center-right GERB party of outgoing, three-time Prime Minister Boyko Borisov came in first in the elections, but with only 26 percent of the vote amid frustration over endemic corruption and poverty.
A new anti-establishment party, There Is Such a People (TSN), led by television personality Slavi Trifonov, was second with 18 percent, while two other anti-establishment parties made inroads.
The Socialists were the third-place finishers.