The leader of the ethnic Turks' Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), the junior partner in Bulgaria's Socialist-led government, said on Thursday that holding early general elections by the end of the year is the best option for the country.
"The analysis of the results of the recent elections for members of the European Parliament (EP) makes it impossible for the cabinet to serve its full term," Lyutvi Mestan told at a news conference. "Within the MRF we prefer holding early parliamentary elections by the end of the year."
The cabinet of Plamen Oresharski is backed by the Socialists' Coalition for Bulgaria and the MRF and enjoys the tacit support of ultra-nationalist party Ataka. The opposition centre-right GERB has 93 seats in Parliament, Coalition for Bulgaria has 83, MRF has 36 and Ataka has 23 MPs. There are also five independent MPs in Bulgaria's National Assembly.
GERB won the May 25 elections for EP by a decisive margin, polling 30.4% of the votes. The Coalition for Bulgaria was supported by a mere 18.9% of voters, followed closely by the MRF with 17.3%.
Mestan also said his party sees three options for early parliamentary elections - in October 2015 parallel with the local elections; in June 2015, or by the end of the year. MRF considers the third option to be the best but is open to dialogue, he added.
Reacting to Mestan's statement, GERB leader Boyko Borisov said the government should resign immediately.
"[...] if it [the government] takes out this 3.0-billion lev ($2.05 billion/1.5 billion euro) loan and remains in power for another couple of months, its ministers will cause irreparable damage," Borisov said.
On Wednesday the finance ministry said Bulgaria will try to raise some 1.5 billion euro ($2.05 billion) via an up to 15-year bond issue on the international markets. Part of the proceeds would go to refinance an eurobond issue which matures next year, and the other would be used to cover the budget deficit.
Later on Thursday GERB is expected to file a no-confidence motion against the government over its financial policy.
Over the past year GERB has repeatedly called for early general elections in the country. The leaders of two other political formations which crossed the 5.88% threshold for entry into the EP - Bulgaria without Censorship and the Reformist Bloc - too have demanded snap elections.