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Sofia, May 23 – Bulgaria’s largest force in Parliament, the GERB-UDF coalition, has formally abandoned efforts to form a new government after it failed to secure a parliamentary majority.
Mariya Gabriel, the coalition’s nominee for Prime Minister, returned the exploratory mandate to President Rumen Radev, telling him that “the folder I am returning today is empty”.
However, Gabriel, whose coalition holds 69 seats in the 240-member Parliament, said on Monday that the leaders of GERB-UDF and the We Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria (PP-DB) coalition, the second largest parliamentary force, have agreed to propose a government with Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister on a rotating basis from the two formations within the second mandate.
“Within the next few days, I will hand over the next mandate to the second largest parliamentary group,” Radev said.
In the snap elections held on April 2, the PP-DB coalition won 64 seats, followed by the Revival party with 37 seats, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms with 36 seats, the BSP (Bulgarian Socialist Party) for Bulgaria coalition with 23 seats, and the There Is Such A People (ITN) party with 11 seats, Xinhua news agency reported.
This was Bulgaria’s fifth parliamentary election in two years. Three of the previous four Parliaments had to be dissolved. A cabinet was formed after the elections held on November 14, 2021, but it was ousted by a no-confidence vote in June 2022.