No party wins majority in Bulgaria’s parliamentary election

Government

Bulgaria’s center-right party and its main challenger, the Socialists, finished first and second in Sunday’s parliamentary election, with neither one winning a majority needed to form a government, two exit polls indicated. Six years after Bulgaria joined the European Union, disaffection with the political elite is widespread in the country of 7.3 million. Unemployment is close to an eight-year high and one in four lives below the poverty line. The center-right party, GERB, whose government resigned after violent demonstrations against poverty and corruption in February, was set to win 31% of the votes, ahead of the Socialists on 25-27%, exit polls by Alpha Research and Sova Harris agencies showed. With up to five other parties expected to enter the 240-seat parliament, formation of a stable government may prove difficult. Bulgaria has been led by a caretaker government since February.

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