June 6, 2014 / 8:20 AM / 3 years ago

Bulgaria ruling party leader backs calls for early election

SOFIA, June 6 (Reuters) - The Bulgarian government is all but certain to collapse within a year, as the head of the ruling Socialists on Friday threw his weight behind calls for an early election and said he would start consultations with other political parties.

Pressure has mounted on Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski’s minority government after the Socialists’ poor results in the European Parliament elections in May, when the centre-right opposition GERB party won by a bigger-than-expected margin.

The Socialists have been in power for a year, and their time in office has been dogged by months of street protests over corruption in the European Union’s poorest country, and a series of no-confidence votes brought by the opposition in parliament.

If the government falls it would be second such collapse in two years, as a GERB-led administration fell in February 2013.

“We will start consultations with our partners and other political parties for an early election,” Socialist leader Sergei Stanishev told reporters.

“I do not think that the idea for such vote to be in a year is appropriate. The election should not be delayed, given that there is a lack of stronger public support.” (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova and Angel Krasimirov; editing by Matthias Williams)

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