Bulgarian PM’s party wins poll (Ld)

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov’s centre-right, pro-European Union GERB party won the parliamentary elections held during the weekend but fell short of an absolute majority, official interim results showed on Monday.

With 42 per cent of the ballots counted, the Central Election Commission reported that GERB had garnered 24 per cent of the vote share, reports dpa news agency.

There Is Such a People (ITN) party, headed by TV presenter and cabaret artist Slavi Trifonov, came in a surprisingly strong second place with 19 per cent.

The opposition Socialists came in third at nearly 15 per cent, followed by the Turkish minority party DPS with 8.8 per cent.

Two other protest forces are likely to enter Parliament: The conservative-liberal-green coalition Democratic Bulgaria and the anti-corruption alliance Stand Up! Mafia Out!

According to the official figures, the nationalist Bulgarian National Movement (IMRO) was unable to clear the 4 per cent hurdle.

It has so far been a junior partner in Borisov’s coalition.

Given the distribution of power and the enmities between some of the these parties, the formation of a new government looks likely to be filled with pitfalls.

The protest parties had ruled out a coalition with GERB before the election, accusing Borisov’s coalition government of corruption and proximity to oligarchs.

Earlier Monday, Borisov suggested putting together a cross-party government of experts, citing the coronavirus pandemic, but was short on details.