SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev called a snap parliamentary election on Tuesday for July 11 and appointed Stefan Yanev, his close security and defence adviser, as caretaker prime minister until a new government is formed.
The European Union’s poorest member state is heading to the polls again three months after an inconclusive election in April resulted in a fragmented parliament that failed to produce a government.
Yanev, 61, who was a deputy premier and defence minister in the first caretaker government Radev appointed in 2017, will be tasked to manage the coronavirus pandemic and ensure a fair election, the president said in a statement, confirming an earlier report by Reuters.
President Radev is a harsh critic of long-serving prime minister Boyko Borissov.
Yanev’s government will also have to decide whether or not to submit a national plan to Brussels on how Sofia plans to use more than 6 billion euros from the EU’s coronavirus Recovery Fund.
In charge of the country’s finances will be Assen Vassilev, 43, a graduate of Harvard University, who served as caretaker economy and energy minister in 2013. Vassilev was part of the team that prepared Radev’s proposals for projects to be financed with EU recovery funds.
Borissov’s incumbent centre-right GERB party again emerged as the largest party after the April vote, but it had lost seats due to popular anger against entrenched corruption and was shunned by other parties for a coalition government.
After Borissov failed to form an administration, so too did attempts by a new anti-elite party led by TV host Slavi Trifonov, and by the third largest party, the Socialists.
Analysts say the fresh election in July is likely to produce another fragmented parliament that could complicate the formation of a government. A recent opinion poll showed Borissov’s GERB and Trifonov’s ITN (There is Such a People) party running neck-and-neck.
(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Alex Richardson)