Bulgaria's ruling party says government will remain stable after split

Reuters News
Posted: May 11, 2016 8:15 AM

By Angel Krasimirov

SOFIA (Reuters) - The stability of Bulgaria's government is not at risk despite a small center-left ally withdrawing its support, leaving the center-right coalition without a majority in parliament, a top official from the leading GERB party said on Wednesday.

The leadership of the ABV party said on Tuesday it would end its backing for the government due to disagreements over policy and changes in the election code, and its deputy prime minister and labor minister resigned.

The mini-crisis has hit Prime Minister Boiko Borisov's government as it struggles to spur economic growth and raise living standards in the European Union's poorest state.

The two-party coalition government led by Borisov's GERB, which took office in 2014, lacks an outright majority and has relied on the support of other parties including ABV.

But GERB's deputy leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the stability of the government was not in question. "We have a sufficiently solid majority that can continue to govern the country," Tsvetanov said, dismissing an early election as a viable option.

The government, however, will have to rely on floating support and seek votes either from independent deputies or other parties in the parliament to push ahead with its agenda - a process which could slow it down as it seeks to deliver on promises of sorely-needed economic reform.

Most analysts also ruled out early elections, though a snap vote next spring seems possible.

"The ABV's move was expected and none of the smaller parties are interested in early elections this year," said Parvan Simeonov, political analyst with Gallup International.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Richard Balmforth)