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Main party in Bulgaria seeks to void election result

Bulgaria’s biggest political party has said it will seek to have the result of Sunday’s deadlocked election cancelled on grounds of a violation, BBC reports. Ex-Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said his centre-right Gerb party’s chances had been damaged by a “gross violation of the law” on the eve of the polls. State prosecutors had announced that illegal ballots were found at a printing shop linked to his party. Consultations on forming a coalition are due to begin on Friday. But analysts see little hope of forming a stable coalition to lead the EU’s poorest state. Gerb, which resigned from power in February amid street protests against corruption and poverty, won a narrow lead in the popular vote of 30.5%, followed by its Socialist rival, the BSP, on 26.6% of the vote.Only two other parties passed the 4% threshold needed to enter parliament – the ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) won 11.3% and the ultra-nationalist Ataka took 7.3%.Analysts say Gerb would struggle to form any coalition despite its lead while a possible deal between the BSP and the MRF would probably still need the support of Ataka. International observers say the vote was generally well run but that scandals and fraud allegations had eroded trust in state institutions.

Mr Borisov said his party’s chances at the polls had been hurt by the announcement on Saturday, when parties were prohibited by law from campaigning. Speaking in his first public appearance since the vote, he said his party would ask the constitutional court to cancel the election results. “For the first time in Bulgaria’s history maybe, the party that won the elections will challenge their results,” he told reports in the capital, Sofia. “The motive is grave violations of the regulations.

The best is to go for new elections.” The former prime minister himself ruled out any viable coalition deal among the parties.“In the current configuration with four political parties in parliament, a stable government cannot be formed,” he said. “It is absolutely not serious to talk about a consensus cabinet.”On Wednesday, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev appealed to political leaders to work towards forming a stable government to tackle the country’s economic crisis.“It is important to have a stable government,” President Plevneliev told reporters. “Bulgaria does not need new elections now. This will scare away investors.” While the final figures for the vote were given on Wednesday, the exact seat allocations in the 240-member parliament were still unclear. Gerb resigned in February amid protests over living standards and corruption in what is the EU’s poorest country.Key tasks for the next government include negotiating EU funds for the next seven years, drafting the 2014 budget and trying to address popular anger over poor living conditions and high power prices.

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