There have been protests outside Bulgaria’s bitterly-divided parliament, in a sign of the political deadlock the country is struggling to resolve. The make-up of the new cabinet sparked the demonstration by radical nationalists.
They are angry at the participation of an ethnic Turkish party. Elections last month triggered the wrangling.
The Socialists won the most votes but needed support to govern.
After the collapse of coalition talks with ex-King Simeon Saxe-Coburg’s outgoing centrists, they turned to their ethnic Turkish allies.
On Tuesday, parliament was due to hold a vote of confidence on the minority government.
Prime-Minister designate Sergei Stanishev could only look on in dismay as deputies from the centre and the right walked out, thus preventing the quorum needed to hold the ballot. He later accused much of the opposition of behaving irresponsibly. A fresh attempt at a confidence vote could take place today. The consequences of further stalemate may be significant.
Brussels has warned Bulgaria to waste no more time in forming a government if it wants to join the EU as planned in 2007.