Bulgaria to hold 3rd parliamentary election of 2021

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria is to hold its third parliamentary election of the year in November after the largest three parties in parliament failed to find common ground for a coalition government.

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev said Saturday that the vote will be held on Nov. 14, the date already set by lawmakers for the scheduled presidential election.

He said holding the two votes together will save public money and voters’ time.

Radev, who will be seeking a second term in office in the presidential vote, said that he will dissolve parliament next week and appoint a caretaker government.

“It is obvious that the two campaigns will be taking place at the same time and will merge. I will count on the support of all respectable Bulgarians on the big issues — the fight against poverty and injustice,” he told reporters.

General elections in April and July both produced a hung parliament. There was a widespread desire for change after months of protests against three-time Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and his center-right GERB party. The political groups that emerged from the protests, however, failed to cobble together a working majority.

Political analysts expect that a new vote could have a similar outcome and deepen the political impasse that has gripped the European Union’s poorest member for months.

They also expect political instability to hinder Bulgaria’s ability to effectively fight a new surge in the COVID-19 pandemic or tap the EU’s coronavirus economic recovery fund, and disrupt its path toward adopting the euro currency in 2024.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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