Bulgaria's Ruling Socialists To Open Political Talks On Snap Elections

Bulgaria's Ruling Socialists To Open Political Talks On Snap Elections

Bulgaria's ruling Socialist Coalition for Bulgaria will start talks with the other political parties in the country on early general elections, its leader Sergey Stanishev said on Friday.
A day earlier the leader of the junior partner in the government, the ethnic Turks' Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), called for holding general elections by the end of the year.
"MRF's stand makes the work of the cabinet extremely difficult and does not allow for carrying out key reforms," Stanishev told a news conference.
The opposition centre-right GERB has 93 seats in parliament, Coalition for Bulgaria has 83, MRF has 36 and ultra-nationalist party Ataka, which tacitly supports the government, has 23 MPs. There are also five independent MPs.
"The elections for members of the European Parliament (EP) have created a new political reality," Stanishev also said.
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%.
According to Stanishev, snap elections should be held before the adoption of the 2015 state budget and the nomination of a Bulgarian EU commissioner, both due to happen in the autumn.
On Thursday GERB's leader Boyko Borisov said the government should resign immediately. 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 that snap elections be held as soon as possible.
Stanishev also called for the introduction of compulsory voting as a means to deal with vote-peddling.
A strong democratic, legitimate government would require legislative changes, and possibly changes to the Constitution, envisaging the introduction of compulsory voting, Stanishev said.

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