Bulgaria moves towards early elections, polls likely to take place by year-end

By bne IntelliNews June 5, 2014

Bulgaria's centre-left ruling coalition seems to be collapsing and early elections might be just around the corner after Lyutvi Mestan, leader of the junior coalition partner MRF, said on Thursday (June 5) that the government will not be able to complete its four-year mandate and outlined three snap poll scenarios, giving preference to a vote by the end of 2014, Dnevnik daily reported.

Mestan said that a full term of the cabinet would undermine Bulgaria's political stability and suggested that the government should resign four months from now so that an early election could be held either in November, or in December. MRF rejected the option of an immediate resignation because such a move would generate additional instability, according to the ethnic Turk party.

This development comes ten days after socialist BSP, the senior ruling partner, suffered a defeat in the European Parliament elections to opposition CEDB. The outcome of the EP polls also showed that BSP's popularity had significantly decreased from last year when it came into power after snap polls.

It is likely that MRF tried to obtain more governing power from BSP by using the EP outcome as leverage but the socialists did not succumb to their demands. By strategically laying the groundwork for a future coalition with opposition CEDB, as suggested by the recent official meetings between Mestan and CEDB leader Boyko Borissov, and knowing that its voter support has strengthened, MRF has likely decided to abandon the current governing coalition and embrace the early elections option.

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