Bulgaria’s GERB party has won Sunday’s snap election but has fallen short of a majority.
Leader Boiko Borisov, a former bodyguard and karate expert, said his party would now discuss how best to proceed.
With 97 percent of votes counted, the centre-right party has won 32.6 percent of the vote – more than twice the share of their socialist main opponent.
A Socialist Party spokesman called the result a “heavy defeat.”
The final figures will be published on Wednesday.
Analysts have suggested the country will see another shaky coalition struggling to solve an economic crisis, or, if a cross-party alliance cannot be formed, another vote.
The EU’s poorest country has had a caretaker government since August after a socialist-led administration was brought to its knees following mass protests against poverty and corruption, deadly floods, and a bank crisis.
The next government will be Bulgaria’s fifth in just two years.