Bulgaria Facing Fragile Gov’t After Poll

Bulgaria Facing Fragile Gov’t After PollBulgaria Facing Fragile Gov’t After Poll

Bulgaria’s rightwing Gerb party won a snap national election on Sunday but fell short of a majority, a result that could mean another shaky coalition struggling to solve a bank crisis and revive economic growth.

The party leader, Boyko Borisov, a former bodyguard and karate expert, said his party would hold internal discussions on Monday on how to proceed.

With 97% of votes counted, Gerb had won 32.6%, more than twice the share of their main Socialist opponents, but exit polls suggested the party would be left 36-38 seats shy of a majority and set the stage for days or weeks of haggling with smaller parties and the opposition, the Guardian wrote.

“Under this configuration, I do not see how a government can be formed,” a sombre-sounding Borisov told reporters on Sunday. Signaling that he would try to form a coalition, Borisov also said he was prepared to take “all risks” to govern the country and would do “everything necessary” to avoid another election.

A record eight parties were expected to enter parliament, as disappointment with the main parties strengthened the attractions of fringe players.

A Socialist party spokesman called the result a “heavy defeat”. The final results will be published on Wednesday.

If a coalition cannot be formed, Bulgarians who have seen their country lurch from one crisis to the next may have to head to the voting booths yet again. The new government will be the Balkan country’s fifth in less than two years, during which mass street protests toppled a previous Gerb administration and nearly felled its successor.

More instability would also dismay investors. Foreign direct investment has fallen by more than a fifth this year.

Underscoring the high level of disillusionment with the political class, the exit polls suggested voter turnout was the lowest in the 25 years since Bulgaria emerged from communism.