Bulgarian President Hands Pop Star Shot at Forming Government
(Bloomberg) -- Bulgaria’s president gave pop-folk singer and talk-show host Stanislav Trifonov’s party the chance to form a government, though doubts remain over whether he can muster sufficient support to end the Balkan country’s political crisis.
Trifonov’s anti-establishment movement -- There Is Such a People, known as ITN -- won July 11 elections by a razor-thin margin, ending more than a decade of dominance under ex-Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.
But with just 65 lawmakers in the 240-seat parliament, its approval will require the backing of other parties. Having initially ruled out cooperating with the biggest, it’s now in talks with some of them.
Bulgaria sank into crisis last year as protesters flooded the streets to complain about corruption and as Borissov clashed with President Rumen Radev. ITN tapped into discontent over the European Union’s lowest living standards and worst corruption. Trifonov has been railing against inequality and graft, pledging to fight a “mafia model” he says gives oligarchs with ties to organized crime sway over politics.
ITN nominated Plamen Nikolov, a 44-year-old entrepreneur, to lead its proposed government and he’ll have a week to secure parliament’s support. But his task will be complicated by ITN’s representatives scrapping with two smaller factions this week over accusations neither side is capable of delivering efficient political change.
Should ITN fail to form a cabinet, a third election in less than a year would become a real possibility.
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