Bulgaria ‘moves closer’ to forming coalition to end political crisis

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Bulgaria is moving closer to ending its months-long political crisis, according to the co-leader of its largest party.

The newly formed anti-corruption party We Continue the Change (PP) said it expected to soon complete coalition talks.

PP co-leader Kiril Petkov said he was ready to assume the post of prime minister if he gets support from potential partners.

Petkov said on Monday that said he had sent draft coalition plans to three other Bulgarian parties.

The centrist party emerged as the surprise winner of last month’s snap election, edging out the GERB party of former prime minister Boyko Borissov — although it fell well short of a majority in Bulgaria’s 240-seat chamber.

Bulgaria’s new parliament convened on Friday for its first session following the country’s third parliamentary election of the year.

Under the terms of the Bulgarian constitution, the country’s president Ruman Radev will give the party the mandate to form a government.

Radev, who was himself re-elected to a second five-year term, told lawmakers he would start consultations this week.

On Friday, lawmakers voted to 158-1 with 78 abstentions to approve the centrist party’s nominee for parliament speaker, Nikola Minchev.

PP — which was led by two Harvard University graduates — has pledged to root out corruption in the European Union’s poorest member state.

Ahead of the election, Petkov had ruled out forming a coalition with GERB due to lingering suspicions about their ties to corruption.

Bulgarian President Radev has meanwhile said that the country’s political system could not withstand another early election in the middle of winter.

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