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Bulgaria sinks deeper into uncertainty on vote stalemate

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Bulgaria sunk deeper into political uncertainty after final election results published Wednesday showed that the Socialist party and potential partner MRF have failed to secure enough seats to form a government.

Both parties are now looking to the fiercely nationalist and unpredictable Ataka party for backing, raising the spectre of an unstable and short-lived government.

Final results of Sunday's elections showed the outgoing GERB conservatives garnering 30.5 percent of the vote, followed by the Socialist BSP with 26.61 percent.

The Turkish minority MRF party took 11.29 percent and the ultra nationalist Ataka had 7.30 percent.

The electoral commission did not release the final seat count of the vote. However, Mihail Konstantinov, a board member of the firm that counted the votes, said that GERB has obtained 97 seats and BSP 84. MRF meanwhile took 36 and Ataka 23.

Ousted premier Boyko Borisov's GERB party has kept mum about its plans, but it is badly isolated as all the other three parties have said they would not join forces with it.

With a combined 120 seats, the Socialists and the MRF are meanwhile forced to seek Ataka's backing to form a technocrat government.

Analysts said any such consensus government made up would be short lived. However, they also noted that there was no better option.

"There is no other solution than a government of experts based on a programme with clear priorities," said analyst Zhivko Gerogiev.

"The alternative is new elections which risk to repeat the result of Sunday's vote," he said.

A mere 51.33 percent of Bulgaria's 6.9 million eligible voters cast ballots in the highly fragmented vote Sunday that saw a quarter of them back a range of smaller parties which failed to enter the legislature.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130515/bulgaria-sinks-deeper-uncertainty-vote-stalemate