| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

Bulgaria to hold parliamentary election in November

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev announced on Saturday, that his country will hold its third parliamentary elections this year on November 14.

The Balkan country will also hold the first round of the regular presidential election on the same date.

He spoke after parliament approved changes to the 2021 state budget.

Mr Radev, who is running for re-election, said holding the two votes at the same time will save time and taxpayer money.

“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.

Bulgaria is the European Union’s poorest member state.

Mr Radev said he would dissolve parliament, appoint a new interim government and set a date for a general election once politicians 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 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 EU coronavirus recovery funds and plans to adopt the euro currency in 2024.