Bulgaria's GERB party wins most seats in parliament

  • World
  • Friday, 14 Jun 2024

Boyko Borissov, former Bulgarian Prime Minister and leader of centre-right GERB party walks next to party deputy chairman Tomislav Donchev after a press conference, following Sunday's snap parliamentary and European elections, in Sofia, Bulgaria, June 13, 2024. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria's centre-right GERB party won 68 seats in the 240-seat parliament on Sunday and will need at least two coalition partners to form the cabinet, state election commission results on Thursday evening showed.

The Movement for Rights and Freedom (MRF), mainly representing Bulgaria's large ethnic Turkish minority, won 47 seats while pro-Western bloc We Continue the Change (PP) had 39 seats.

The ultra-nationalist Revival party won 38 seats.

GERB leader and former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said earlier on Thursday his party will form a negotiating team on Monday to reach out to all parties in the parliament.

Sunday's vote, the sixth in three years, was triggered by the collapse in March of a coalition comprising GERB and the PP.

NATO member Bulgaria needs a stable government to accelerate the flow of EU funds into its creaking infrastructure and nudge it toward adopting the euro and fully participating in Europe's open-border Schengen Area.

Borissov led the country for more than a decade before losing power in 2021 after thousands took to the streets the previous year accusing him of failing to combat corruption and cosying up with powerful local oligarchs.

"A technocratic cabinet, consisting of various non-elected experts nominated by several parliamentary parties, emerges as the most realistic post-election scenario," Teneo analyst said in a note earlier this week.

"Such a cabinet could have a predetermined set of policy objectives, such as continuing with the Eurozone accession, carrying out reforms and investments outlined in the country’s National Recovery Resilience Plan, and adopting the 2025 budget."

(Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Josie Kao)

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