Bulgaria Sliding Toward Caretaker Govt, But with Same Parliament
Bulgaria seems poised to hold a snap general election after Sunday's presidential vote - but not before next year.
With a presidential transition due over the months to come, the President's competence to dissolve Parliament - a key prerequisite to setting an election date - is limited under the constitution.
After Prime Minister Boyko Borisov resigns next week - a step he will take to bear responsibility for the election result - incumbent Rosen Plevneliev could only hand over the mandate to first (Borisov's GERB party) and, in case of failure, the second-largest political force.
In this case, the mandate would be received by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the party that backed election winner Rumen Radev. BSP leader Korneliya Ninova, however, vehemently denied intentions to form a government.
Once the mandate is returned to Plevneliev, the latter has the right to task any other party with forming a government and then, in the event of a new failure, to appoint a caretaker cabinet.
The interim administration would be the third one in his expiring five-year term of office.
It will have to co-exist with a Parliament that will be able to continue part of its legislative activity, such as the adoption of the 2017 state budget.
This caretaker cabinet will be in office at least until the spring. Upon assuming the President's office on January 22 of next year, Radev will be able to dissolve Parliament and call a date for a new election.
The vote will therefore not take place until late March or April, as a snap vote cannot take place less than 60 days after Parliament is dissolved.
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