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Bulgarian ex-minister gives up immunity over wiretaps

Bulgaria's former interior minister Tsvetan Tsvetaeva signed away his parliamentary immunity Wednesday to fight charges over a major scandal involving the alleged wiretapping of his party's political opponents. "I know that I am not guilty... I have never, on any occasion ordered or even thought I could order illegal wiretapping," Tsvetanov told journalists. "I have never used the interior ministry for political purposes."

Technocrat Oresharski becomes Bulgaria's new PM

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.

Technocrat Oresharski becomes Bulgaria's new PM

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.

Largest Bulgarian party will not try to form government

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria's largest party GERB declined on Thursday to try to form a new government, opening the way for the rival Socialists to put together a technocrat administration and end a political impasse. The center-right GERB won most seats in a May 12 election in the European Union's poorest country but cannot command a majority, as other parties are shunning it after its resignation during protests against low living standards in February.

Bulgaria's ex-premier to challenge election result

Bulgaria's outgoing conservative GERB party will challenge the results from Sunday's elections in the EU's poorest country and seek a new snap vote, ousted ex-premier Boyko Borisov said Thursday. "For the first time in Bulgaria's history maybe, the party that won the elections will challenge their results. The motive is grave violations of the regulations" on the day before the election, Borisov told journalists in his first public appearance since the vote. ds/stu/lc

Bulgaria sinks deeper into uncertainty on vote stalemate

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.

Bulgaria election sets up stalemate, fresh protests

Bulgarian ousted premier Boyko Borisov's party came first in tense elections Sunday but fell short of a majority, exit polls showed, setting the scene for political stalemate and fresh protests. Three months after the biggest demonstrations in years prompted the former bodyguard to tender his government's resignation, Borisov's GERB party won between 30.3 and 33 percent of the vote, the exit polls showed.

Monitors OSCE slam Bulgaria election campaign

OSCE observers said Monday that Bulgaria's elections had overall been conducted properly but denounced "serious violations" such as the buying of votes in the run up to the polls. The vote on Sunday was "held in a competitive environment, fundamental freedoms were respected, and the administration ... was well managed," a Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe statement said.

Uncertainty in Bulgaria after tense election

Bulgaria faced fresh political uncertainty Monday after tough guy ex-premier Boyko Borisov fell way short of a majority in elections held three months after mass demonstrations forced his government's resignation. After a tense campaign marred by allegations of vote-rigging, former bodyguard Borisov's conservative GERB party came first with 30.71 percent of the vote, according to official results with 96 percent of ballots counted.

350,000 illegal ballot papers seized in Bulgaria

Bulgarian authorities said Saturday they seized 350,000 illegal ballot papers a day before elections, sparking furious opposition accusations of fraud against the former ruling party of ex-premier Boyko Borisov. Socialist party leader Sergey Stanishev said the discovery was "preparation for total falsification of the elections." "350,000 ballots correspond to 10 percent of the expected turnout tomorrow and ensure about 25 lawmakers' seats," he said.
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