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News 21 Feb 13

Bulgaria Protests Continue After PM's Resignation

A new wave of protest rallies is looming in Bulgaria following the collective resignation of the prime minister and the centre-right GERB government.

Novinite.com
Sofia

Hundreds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in front of the parliament building in downtown Sofia on Wednesday evening.

The anti-government protestors said that the collective resignation of the centre-right GERB government was not enough and would not solve the problems that Bulgaria is facing.

They even invited Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to join them at a rally scheduled for Sunday.

Meanwhile, a group of around 100 people, guarded by a police cordon, also gathered to express support for the outgoing prime minister.

Borisov handed in his resignation to parliament on Wednesday.

The move came after tens of thousands of protesters across the country hit the streets over the weekend, accusing the government of failing to stop living standards falling.

The series of mass protests in Sofia and other major cities was initially triggered by high electricity bills in the EU's poorest member state.

Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 but the country's average monthly salary is only 360 euro.

The ruling centre-right party, which won a general election in 2009, had been steadily losing public support in the wake of the country’s worst economic downturn in a decade.

Parliament is expected to vote on the resignation on Thursday.

After the announcement of the collective resignation, all parties represented in parliament made clear that they would seek early elections.

The early elections are to take place at the end of April or in the first half of May, according to reports from Sofia-based news outlet dnevnik.bg, based on information from Tstevan Tsvetanov, deputy chair of GERB.

The date of the early elections is to be specified in the presidential decree for the dissolution of parliament and the appointment of a caretaker government.

The elections must take place within two months after Bulgaria's parliament is dissolved.

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