As Bulgaria Schedules Another Election, President’s Interim Govt Assumes Power

Rumen Radev, Bulgarian president, running for a new mandate, in Sofia, 18 November 2021. Photo; EPA-EFE/VASSIL DONEV

This will be the fifth general election in Bulgaria in two years and will be followed by mayoral elections later in 2023, which will test the centre-right GERB party's dominance in local administration.

Bulgaria's political stalemate was temporarily solved by the establishment of Kiril Petkov's reformist coalition government, led by his party, "We Continue the Change".

But in June 2022, after only seven months, his coalition was ousted, after which former PM Boyko Borissov's GERB party came first in elections held in October, which led to another unfruitful cycle of coalition talks. 

In the meantime, Bulgaria will be led by another interim government, selected by President Radev, again headed by his former advisor Galab Donev as Prime Minister, in power since February 3.

This is a continuation of the same cabinet. On Thursday, Radev confirmed that the ministerial positions would remain the same with the exception of the Ministry of Culture.

The increased influence of the President has drawn criticism from most of the parties who see him as building a form of presidential republic through the series of caretaker cabinets. 

Throughout last week, members of "We Continue the Change" and their former 2021-2022 coalition partners Democratic Bulgaria said they were in discussions to run together in the April elections.

"This is the first step towards unification of the good forces, all democratic communities and parties, people engaged with causes, with the idea of Bulgaria being a prosperous country," said ex-PM and "We Continue the Change" leader Petkov on January 28.

Espousing pro-Western, pro...

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