With nearly all the votes counted, it is clear Bulgaria’s centre-right GERB party has won the election – but has not done enough to form a government on its own.
Former prime minister and GERB leader Boiko Borisov will not get a majority in the 240-seat parliament. He resigned in February following protests over poverty and alleged corruption.
GERB’s potential coalition partner, the nationalist Ataka, has ruled out a deal. Many are hoping Borisov will act decisively, like Sofia resident Diana Hristova who said: “They have to form a government quickly, no matter what kind of coalition it is. It would be bad to have even more elections and spend even more money.”
So far, figures suggest a turnout of around 50 percent – the lowest in post-communist history.
Some Bulgarians do not think this election will end the political stalement.
“My expectations are the same, although the results are not so good. There will be more elections,” said Emil Mladenova, who also lives in Sofia.
Many of Bulgaria’s 7.3 million people are fed up with low standards of living in the EU’s poorest country.
Borisov and GERB have been tarnished by accusations of corruption.
If GERB are unable to form a coalition, the opposition Socialists will take on the task. The party, who are second in the polls, have already said they would seek a broad consensus and put together a cabinet of technocrats.