Bulgaria's ruling coalition threatened by defections

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SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria's leader says he will move forward with a minority government following the withdrawal of one of the four parties from the country's centrist coalition government.

“A minority government is better than one that is under constant pressure and extortion (from a coalition partner),” Prime Minister Kiril Petkov told reporters on Wednesday.

Three ministers of the populist There Is Such a People party left the government, among them Foreign Minister Teodora Genchovska, putting the future of the governing coalition in jeopardy. Their party leader, Slavi Trifonov, cited disagreements with the revision of the state budget proposed by the prime minister, accusing him of leading the country toward bankruptcy by raising new debt.

Trifonov also accused the prime minister of ignoring Bulgaria’s national interests by making concessions to neighboring North Macedonia so it can start European Union accession talks.

“As of today, I am withdrawing our ministers and I am putting an end to this coalition and this agony,” Trifonov said.

The ruling four-party coalition commands 134 seats in the 240-seat National Assembly, but without the support of Trifonov’s 25 legislators it would be left short of a majority.

The Associated Press

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