- Title: Bulgarian president presents new interim government
- Date: 27th January 2017
- Summary: ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** JOURNALISTS BORISOV AMD GERDZHIKOV SHAKING HANDS EXTERIOR OF GOVERNMENT BUILDING
- Embargoed: 10th February 2017 13:09
- Keywords: Bulgaria Borisov
- Location: SOFIA, BULGARIA
- City: SOFIA, BULGARIA
- Country: Bulgaria
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00360UV4U1
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:An interim government running Bulgaria until parliamentary elections in late March will make ensuring the ballot is free and fair its top priority, the country's new prime minister said on Friday (January 27).
Veteran centrist Ognyan Gerdzhikov, a former parliament speaker, was appointed by President Rumen Radev on Tuesday to manage the political transition up to the election following the resignation late last year of a coalition government led by the centre-right GERB party.
"The main task of the interim government is to organise fair elections," Gerdzhikov, a 70-year-old professor of civil and commercial law at Sofia University, told reporters.
The previous government revived Bulgaria's small but open economy, cut unemployment and put public finances in the black, but its failure to tackle widespread corruption has frustrated voters.
"In the past decades we have witnessed many disgraceful practices such as vote buying... We will make everything possible to seriously reduce this if not completely eradicate it," Gerdzhikov said.
He said he would also make "utmost efforts" to ensure state finances remained stable during his tenure.
Analysts say the election was again unlikely to produce a strong majority government able to implement the judicial reforms the country needs.
If elections were held today, five parties would enter parliament, according to a poll by Alpha Research published on Friday.
Some 32.6 percent would vote for GERB party, led by ex-Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, and 28.8 percent for the Socialist Party.
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