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Bulgaria’s president asks reform party to form gov’t

Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev on Tuesday formally asked “We Continue the Change” (PP), the country’s second largest party, to form a government.

“You receive this exploratory mandate on the first working day of the New Year, when we traditionally wish each other health, peace and prosperity,” Radev said as he handed the mandate to PP’s prime minister-designate Nikolay Denkov.

“I accept this mandate with the clear awareness that the task is extremely difficult,” said Denkov, whose reformist party holds 53 seats in the 240-member Parliament.

Denkov has seven days to propose a government, which will then need the backing of Parliament in a simple majority vote.

Radev first entrusted the task of forming a new government to the coalition of the conservative, populist GERB party and the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), the country’s largest political force, which holds 67 seats, on Dec. 5, but it failed to garner enough support in Parliament.

Should the PP also fail to form a government, the president shall entrust the task to a prime minister-designate nominated by one of the five minor parliamentary groups.

Should no agreement be reached on the formation of a new government, the president shall call new parliamentary elections.