Bulgaria's President schedules parliamentary elections for Oct 5, parliament to dissolve on Aug 6

By bne IntelliNews June 30, 2014

Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev will dissolve parliament and appoint a caretaker government on Aug 6 to rule until a snap parliamentary election on October 5, Plevneliev told a news conference on Sunday (June 29) after more than four hours of talks with political party leaders, the finance minister and the central bank governor.

Plevneliev said that the parties represented in parliament have ruled out the option of forming a new government under the current assembly after the minority cabinet of PM Plamen Oresharski, backed by BSP and MRF, resigns. The constitution stipulates that the president has to ask the party that has the most seats in parliament (in this case CEDB) to form a new cabinet and if it refuses to do that the mandate must go to the second largest party. However, since the political leaders have already endorsed the interim government option, this procedure will be skipped.

The president will consult all parties represented in the national parliament and the European Parliament to discuss the priorities of Bulgaria's institutions.

The socialist BSP embraced the idea of snap polls after their junior coalition partner, ethnic Turk MRF, sought to increase its governing power following BSP's wide-margin loss in the European Parliament elections to centre-right opposition CEDB. Corporate interests and issues related to the controversial multibillion euro South Stream gas pipeline project might have also played a role in the BSP-MRF breakup.

The front-runner to be Bulgaria's next prime minister is former PM Boyko Borissov, leader of CEDB. The distribution of votes in the EP elections indicated that early polls in May will yield a fragmented parliament. When applied to the 240-seat parliament, the share of votes won by local parties show that CEDB will not be able to score a majority victory. Borissov has said that he would not enter any coalition government if he failed to win an outright majority.

The government of PM Oresharski was sworn in a year ago after the previous government, led by CEDB, resigned amid street protests against high electricity bills.

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