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    GERB Leader Borissov: Election Results Show that GERB Has an Obligation to Form Government

    Sofia, March 26 (BTA) – Speaking in GERB’s party headquarters in Sofia shortly after exit polls from the March 26 general elections showed that the formerly ruling GERB party wins the most votes, GERB party leader and two-time prime minister Boyko Borissov said with these results his party has an obligation to form a government. He thanked all Bulgarians who voted for GERB. “We have a clear victory. The votes reconfirm that GERB should be the leading party in the governance,” Borissov said.

    Borissov prompted these elections when his government resigned in November 2016 in the wake of the loss of the GERB candidate in the presidential elections.

    Borissov congratulated the Bulgarian Socialist Party and its leader Kornelia Ninova for being “a worthy opponent and leading a tough election battle”. He also offered his admirations for the voters of all other parties.

    “The results show that GERB has an obligation to form a government. Any other scenario takes us back to the Plamen Oresharski era,” Borissov said referring to a short-lived and highly controversial government of Plamen Oresharski which came down following massive street protests.

    Borissov said that GERB’s Executive Board is meeting on Monday to look at the final results and plan consultations with the other parties. “We will make a big effort, based on the platforms, to negotiate with the potential partners, when we see who they are, after the final results are known, to form a government which will live up to people’s expectations,” he said.

    He declined answering the questions whether Ninova will be invited to negotiations. Neither did he say if there is any party with which GERB would not negotiate.

    Borissov said that the right wing in Bulgaria, the parties affiliated to the European People’s Party won a clear victory over the parties of the Left.

    Borissov was reluctant to comment anything his possible government will do but he did say that in its foreign policy it will not allow interferences in the home affairs of the country.

    “We have a rare chance to hold the EU presidency. In the months after January 1, 2018 we need a stable government and stable opposition,” Borissov said. He added that the situation is so complex that “we will do our best to have a united nation”.

    He also said that as GERB has promised, the party will propose changes to the law to have the next elections by the majoritarian system.

    Declining numerous questions by reporters, Borissov said that he will meet with the press to answer all their questions in the coming days after the final outcome of the elections is known and has been considered by his party.

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    Bulgarians Vote for Parliament Sunday

    Sofia, March 26 (BTA) – Bulgarians are going to the polls on Sunday to elect their new lawmakers. These will be the country’s tenth parliamentary elections since the start of democratic changes in 1989 and the fifth to be held before the legislature has served its full four-year term of office – in fact, the third snap parliamentary poll in a row since 2013.

    They came in the wake of a resignation of the GERB-dominated government of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov after his party’s candidate lost the November 2016 presidential elections to a Socialist-backed opponent.

    The 240 seats in the next, 44th Ordinary National Assembly, are contested by 4,732 candidates (almost 20 per seat), including those standing simultaneously in two constituencies, which is the maximum number admissible.

    Of these, 4,711 candidates have been nominated by 20 parties and coalitions and the remaining 21 run as independents.

    The election system is semi-proportional with a single transferable vote. The allocation of seats at the national level is limited to parties and coalitions which have gained not less than 4 per cent of the valid votes within Bulgaria and abroad and to independent candidates who have gained valid votes which are not less than the constituency electoral quota.

    Experts put the minimum number of votes that a party or coalition will need to gain representation in the next parliament between 135,000 and 160,000.

    The polls open at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 8:00 p.m. By exception, if voters are still waiting outside the polling site at 8:00 p.m., voting may continue until 9:00 p.m.

    Nearly 14,000 policemen will enforce law and order on March 26.

    Exit poll results may not be made public and commented on by politicians, pollsters and journalists before 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.

    The Central Election Commission must declare the voting results, the votes received and the allocation of seats by March 30, and must name the elected MPs by April 3, 2017.