Bulgaria's GERB returns mandate to form government

Bulgaria's GERB returns mandate to form government

Bulgaria's centre-right GERB party has decided to return the mandate to form a government handed to Daniel Mitov, the prime minister-designate named by the GERB-UDF coalition, GERB leader Boyko Borissov said on Friday.

"The self-proclaimed parties of change have refused to even hold a dialogue with us," Borissov said in a live streamed address on his official Facebook profile.

The GERB-UDF coalition holds 75 of 240 seats in parliament after winning 26.18% of the votes in the general election earlier this month.

The president should now hand a mandate for the formation of a government to a prime minister-designate picked by the second-placed There Is Such a People - a new populist formation led by TV talk show host Slavi Trifonov. The party won 17.66% of the votes in the April 4 elections and holds 51 seats in parliament.

Over the past few days, There Is Such a People and the two other new political formations in the current parliament with a strong anti-corruption agenda - Democratic Bulgaria and Rise Up, Thugs Out, have signaled that they are willing to hold talks on a possible government. Democratic Bulgaria holds 27 seats in parliament, while Rise Up, Thugs Out have 14.

If the government proposed by There Is Such a People also fails to get the support of at least 121 members of parliament, the president is required to hand the mandate to a representative of one of the remaining parliamentary groups. If no government is formed after that round, the president will appoint a caretaker government and call new elections.

The other two parties in parliament are the Bulgarian Socialist Party, which holds 43 seats, and the ethnic Turks' Movement for Rights and Freedoms with 30 MPs.

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