22nd Mar 2018

Bulgarian PM threatens to quit

  • Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borissov. (Photo: Valentina Pop)

Bulgaria’s prime minister Boyko Borissov raised the stakes in the country’s presidential elections, saying on Sunday (6 November) he will pull his party from government if his candidate Tsetska Tsacheva is not elected.

"We have a real chance to win in the run-off next Sunday. But if we lose, the government will resign on Monday morning," Borissov said after initial exit polls suggested Tsacheva was likely to come second.

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With two-thirds of the ballots counted, Tsacheva, a 58-year old lawyer and a member of Borissov’s centre-right Gerb party, had secured 22 percent of the vote in the first round of elections on Sunday.

She was trailing behind socialist-backed contender Rumen Radev, a former jet pilot and air force commander, who had 25.7 percent.

Final results are expected later on Monday with a run-off scheduled for 13 November.

The president’s role is largely ceremonial. But he or she can dismiss or appoint top officials and appoint governments in times of crisis.

Early elections could plunge the country into turmoil, as Borissov is credited with bringing some order into the poor and corruption-pestered country.

Voters were also taking part in a referendum on Sunday about electoral reform.

Exit polls indicated a huge majority had backed plans to introduce first-past-the-post voting (where each constituency elects a single MP), limit state subsidies and make voting mandatory.

Referendum turnout needs to be above 50 percent for the vote to be valid.

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The controversy over the new EU Commission top civil servant is revealing of what is wrong with EU institutions and how they are blocked by national governments, says award-winning Austrian novelist Robert Menasse.


The populists may have won, but Italy won't leave the euro

The situation as Rome tries to form a government is turbulent and unpredictable. However, the most extreme eurosceptic policies floated during the election campaign are unlikely to happen - not least due to the precarious state of the Italian banks.


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Faced with poorer infrastructure, dual food standards and what can seem like hectoring from western Europe it is not surprising some central and eastern European member states are rebelling.

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