A technocratic government looks likely to lead Bulgaria into early elections after the resignation last week of a minority government led by Boyko Borisov.
Borisov's centre-right GERB party, which holds 117 of 240 seats in parliament, has rejected a request by President Rosen Plevneliev to form an interim administration. Plevneliev (pictured below), who has accused Borisov of political irresponsibility for not seeing out his term, is also expected to be rebuffed by the Socialists and its former coalition partner, the ethnic-Turkish Movement for Rights and
Freedoms. The two parties hold a combined 75 seats.
Borisov's senior ministers continue to represent Bulgaria at EU ministerial meetings. Plevneliev, rather than the interim prime minister, will represent Bulgaria at the European Council on 14-15 March.
Elections are expected to be held at some point between 21 April and 12 May. Elections had in any case been scheduled for 7 July, prompting suggestions that electoral calculations drove Borisov's rapid decision to step down, after a week of protests. No post-1989 Bulgarian government has won
re-election, and the intensity of the protests – the largest since 1997 – and the expanding nature of demands may have led Borisov
to calculate that resignation was the best way to retain some support.
Demonstrations have continued since Borisov's resignation, reaching a peak on Sunday (24 February). The protests, which originated in anger at large increases in energy prices, have broadened to include calls for wide-ranging reform.
Since the protests, the Bulgarian authorities have begun considering revoking the licence ofCCEZ, a Czech energy company, and fining two other energy distributors, Energy Pro of the Czech Republic and Austria's EVN. CEZ says that it expects its case to be taken up at an EU level.