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Boyko Borissov says he will not be Bulgaria's next prime minister

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By Euronews
Boyko Borissov has ruled Bulgaria with an iron grip for most of the last 11 years.
Boyko Borissov has ruled Bulgaria with an iron grip for most of the last 11 years.   -   Copyright  Yves Herman, Pool via AP

Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov has said he will not stand to lead the next government.

Borissov's centre-right GERB party won the most seats in last week's election but fell well short of a majority.

But the long-serving prime minister said he would not "divide" the nation.

"I have always believed that unity makes strength," Borissov said in a statement on Wednesday.

"I will not be the candidate for prime minister, but I will propose another prime minister with a very clear European and NATO orientation."

Borissov said GERB would hold talks with other parties to form a coalition government, and promised a new cabinet of "continuity and renewal".

The five other political groups in the new parliament had rejected Borissov’s initial proposal to form an alliance. Popular TV entertainer Slavi Trifonov led his new anti-establishment party, There is Such A People, to second place in the polls.

The PM has stressed the importance of state responsibility during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its severe socio-economic consequences.

During his speech in the city of Veliko Tarnovo, Borissov said that the current Bulgarian government had achieved success in the areas of income and infrastructure.

But the GERB party lost a number of seats amid public frustration over political corruption in Bulgaria.

Experts have predicted it may take weeks of talks to form a viable coalition in Bulgaria, the EU's poorest member state, and have not ruled out the possibility of another election.