Bulgarians will head to the polls again on July 11, President Rumen Radev announced on Wednesday after three failed attempts to form a government since the April 4 parliamentary elections.

Although Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s party GERB grabbed a majority of the seats at the last elections, it fell back, losing several seats after widespread public anger over entrenched corruption in the political elite.

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With Borissov short of a majority and unable to forge a new coalition, the president asked the party with the second-largest votes to take over but it also failed to form a government and so did the third-largest party, the Socialists.

Radev was then left with no other option but to conduct fresh polls.

“Bulgaria needs a strong-willed political alternative, which the current parliament failed to produce,” Radev said after the Socialist Party returned the mandate to form a government.

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“Next week I will dissolve the parliament and appoint an interim government. In this situation, the election is expected to be held on July 11,” Radev said in a live broadcast.

He also disclosed that interim ministers will be appointed pending the conclusion of the election.

This interim government will be faced with a challenging agenda of managing the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact and of ensuring a fair election in the European Union’s poorest member state.

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Radev, however, has appealed to the parties to find common ground and to avoid prolonged deadlock.

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