September 11, 2021
SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria will hold its third parliamentary election this year on Nov. 14, President Rumen Radev said on Saturday, after parliament approved changes to the 2021 state budget.
The Balkan country will also hold the first round of the regular presidential election on the same date.
Radev, who is running for re-election, said holding the two votes together will save time and taxpayer money in the European Union’s poorest member state.
“It is obvious that the two campaigns will be taking place in the same time and will merge. I will count on the support of all respectable Bulgarians on the big issues – the fight against poverty and injustice,” he told reporters.
Radev said he would dissolve parliament, appoint a new interim government and set a date for general election once lawmakers passed the budget revision.
November’s vote will be the third parliamentary poll this year after inconclusive polls in April and July failed to produce a government amid an upsurge in coronavirus infections and rising energy prices.
The anti-establishment There Is Such a People (ITN) party, led by popular TV talk-show host and singer Slavi Trifonov, narrowly won the July 11 vote with pledges to tackle widespread corruption, but failed to win the support from smaller anti-graft parties to form a cabinet. Two other attempts to form a government by other political parties also failed.
A recent opinion survey suggested that the new election may again produce a fractured parliament, complicating the parties’ chances to overcome their differences and build a majority for a working government.
The political uncertainty is hampering Bulgaria’s ability to tap European Union coronavirus recovery funds and plans to adopt the euro currency in 2024.
(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editor by Mike Harrison)
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