A political stalemate threatens to linger in Bulgaria after the winner of Sunday’s election – the centre-right GERB party – failed to form a government on Monday. Analysts say the chance that the two biggest parties, GERB and the Socialists – who are lagging behind by only 3% of the vote – can be allies is rather small.
The election results meant a victory of sorts for any party with sufficient votes to get into parliament. The GERB party of former prime minister, Boiko Borisov won 31 percent of the vote, ahead of the Socialists. The Socialist party significantly improved its results since the last election, gathering 27 percent of votes cast at the weekend. The liberal party and the ethnic Turkish party, MRF, have easily enough votes to get into parliament. The nationalist Attack party, with its 7,4% of the vote, did well enough to suggest that they may hold the balance of power; the larger parties may well need Attack’s support to form a coalition. The leaders of Attack are already calling for a new vote, apparently hopeful they may improve their results.
To add to the uncertainty, there have been loud accusations of electoral fraud, sparked after Bulgarian authorities seized 350,000 illegally printed ballots just hours before the start of the elections. The false ballots were found in a printing house in Kostinbrod in western Bulgaria two days after the delivery deadline for all 7,8 million ballot-papers.