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Technocrat Oresharski becomes Bulgaria's new PM

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Bulgaria's parliament on Wednesday confirmed economist Plamen Oresharski as new prime minister to head a Socialist-backed anti-crisis cabinet of technocrats, ending a post-election stalemate in the EU's poorest country.

Oresharski won support from 120 out of the 217 lawmakers present in the divided 240-seat parliament, with 97 opposed.

"The country is in a deep institutional crisis, continuing economic depression and worsening disintegration of society," the 53-year-old finance professor said before the vote confirming his 16-member cabinet.

He urged "maximum public consensus on the necessary urgent measures for stabilisation, economic recovery, strengthening of the institutions and more solidarity in a society shaken by despair and lack of prospects".

Massive and sometimes violent anti-poverty street rallies ousted the previous government of conservative premier Boyko Borisov in February.

His GERB party won tight snap elections on May 12 but failed to find partners to govern in an extremely polarised legislature, leaving the second-placed Socialists to name a new prime minister.

Oresharshki's cabinet was approved with support from the Socialist BSP and the Turkish minority party MRF, while the ultra-nationalist Ataka boycotted the vote.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130529/technocrat-oresharski-becomes-bulgarias-new-pm-0