SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria’s president dissolved the National Assembly on Thursday and called early parliamentary elections for April 2 in hopes of resolving the country's a bid to settle the European Union and NATO member’s prolonged political impasse and biting economic woes.
President Rumen Radevon also appointed a caretaker government ahead of the snap vote, which will be Bulgaria's fifth in two years.
Radev reappointed Galab Donev, a 55-year-old independent politician, to remain at the helm of the interim Cabinet until the next parliament elects the members of a regular government.
The move comes after the three largest political groups in the deeply fragmented National Assembly failed to find common ground for a viable coalition government after the last early election, held in October.
The center-right GERB party of former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov won 67 seats, the most of any party but well short of a majority in the 240-seat parliament. Other parties refused to form an alliance with GERB due to corruption allegations and the party's alleged failure to implement reforms when it held power.
The liberal We Continue the Change party and the Socialists did not find enough support to lead a government.
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union and NATO. The continuing political crisis is expected to put a brake on the country's plans to join the euro zone at the end of 2023 and to become a member of Europe's passport=free travel zone, the Schengen Area.
Analysts think the war in Ukraine, inflation and a growing rift between pro-Russian and pro-European camps could drive more Bulgarians to vote for nationalist parties.