Bulgaria’s parliamentary elections failed to produce a clear winner on Sunday.
The new anti-elite party There Is Such a People (ITN) got almost as much votes, as the centre-right GERB party of former premier Boyko Borissov.
Bulgaria’s second election since April reflects deep divisions in the European Union’s poorest member state over the legacy of Borissov’s decade-long rule, Reuters reports.
Even if official results confirm GERB as the largest party, its chances of forging a ruling coalition are slim, political observers say. GERB came in first in an inconclusive election in April, winning 26.2%, but was shunned by other parties.
The current interim government, appointed after the April vote, has accused Borissov’s cabinet of spending billions of levs of taxpayer money without transparent procurement procedures, among other shortcomings.
The protest parties, which want to foster close ties with Bulgaria’s allies in NATO and the European Union, have promised to revamp the judiciary to cement rule of law and ensure proper use of funds due to pour in as part of the EU’s coronavirus recovery package.
Now weeks of coalition talks, or even another election are possible, meaning Bulgaria may face difficulty tapping the European Union’s multi-billion euro coronavirus recovery package or approving its 2022 budget plans, Reuters reports.