Will Bulgaria Be Governed by Cabinet of Experts?
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov's centre-right party came first in the weekend's parliamentary elections, partial results showed Monday (5 April), but with protest parties surging it has no clear partner to form a governing coalition.
Borissov's GERB party, undermined by scandals and protests after nearly a decade in power, won just 26% of Sunday's vote.
With the country facing an uncertain political period ahead as Borissov attempts to form a government, he pitched himself as a leader representing stability.
"You won't make it on your own… let's unite," the 61-year-old said in a live broadcast on Facebook Sunday night.
"Do you have someone more experienced than me?"
He also suggested a cabinet of "experts… to carry the responsibility and to make the maximum efforts for Bulgaria until December in order to exit the pandemic," after an election held at the peak of the country's third coronavirus wave.
Analysts predicted an uphill battle for Borissov to cobble together a new coalition after an unexpectedly strong performance by new populist and anti-government protest parties.
"The results show the profound fragmentation of society," political analyst Antony Galabov said.
"No clear majority is in view and GERB owes its win only on voters' concern for stability."
The new populist party There is Such a People of 54-year-old entertainer-turned-politician Slavi Trifonov came in a surprise second with 18.4% of the vote, according to Monday's official partial results.
The traditional main opposition Socialist party received a mere 14.9%, its lowest number in the Balkan country's post-communist history.
Socialist leader Kornelia Ninova said Monday...