Bulgaria Edges Closer to Third Election in a Year

An honour guard in front of parliament in Sofia, Bulgaria in July. Photo: EPA/EFE / VASSIL DONEV

"This means new elections," the leader of the party, Slavi Trifonov, said in a video statement.

Trifonov, who was best known as a popular TV personality and singer before entering politics, said he regards the criticism of his cabinet choices by fellow former protest parties, Democratic Bulgaria and Stand Up.BG! We're Coming!, as betrayal.

The decision to withdraw the cabinet proposals is unprecedented in Bulgarian politics.

However, There is Such a Nation's proposals appeared doomed to fail to muster a majority in the planned vote in parliament on Wednesday.

The party alienated potential partners by insisting that ministerial positions should be entirely of its own choosing.

Three of its nominations proved to be a turning point in the relationship between There is Such a Nation and its fellow former protest parties.

They were all political newcomers, including Plamen Nikolov, who was nominated for prime minister. Nikolov was initially described as a high-level business leader by There is Such a Nation, but turned out to be a representative of swimming brand FINIS for Bulgaria.

The others were lawyer Momchil Ivanov for justice minister, who then declined the nomination after he was found to have aired conspiracy theories and made offensive remarks on social media, and most significantly, lawyer Petar Iliev for interior minister and deputy prime minister.

Iliev, who has advised the Bulgarian Socialist Party on legal matters and is the honorary consul of Barbados in Bulgaria, is currently being investigated by Sofia University over reports that he plagiarised his PhD.

On Monday, Iliev made a controversial...

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