With high energy prices and an impending economic recession, Bulgaria’s leading political party, the centre-right GERB, was granted seven days to form a government on Monday. The country has been in a protracted political deadlock.
In order to form a government that would serve in a hung parliament and prevent the fifth election in less than two years, GERB received an additional week from President Rumen Radev two months after winning the country’s Oct. 2 snap election with 25.3% of the vote.
The political unrest is impacting Bulgaria’s aspirations to adopt the euro in 2024 and its hopes of joining the EU’s passport-free Schengen travel region this year.
The GERB party, which former prime minister Boyko Borissov leads, has suggested electing neurosurgeon Nikolai Gabrovsky, 51, as prime minister.
Gabrovsky informed Radev that he would put great effort into suggesting a government that would steer clear of political debates and conflicts and be more focused on expert and professional (policy).
We Continue the Change and Democratic Bulgaria, two anti-corruption parties that are GERB’s primary adversaries, have said they will not support a GERB-led government because they believe Borissov allowed corruption to flourish during his ten-year administration, which expires in 2021.
If GERB fails, two different parties will need to attempt to form a government twice more. In the event that they also fail, the President has two months to call early elections.