Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev signed on August 6 the decree proroguing the 42nd National Assembly and setting the date for early parliamentary elections for October 5. With a separate decree, Plevneliev appointed the caretaker cabinet of Georgi Bliznashki, whose main task, under Bulgarian law, is to ensure that the early elections are held in a fair fashion.
The presidential decree is the last formal step in a sequence of constitutional procedures dealing with the issue of snap parliamentary elections. The timing of the decree is important because the constitution says the president must set the election date no later than 60 days after proroguing the previous legislature.
The early elections were triggered by the unravelling of the ruling axis in Parliament, caused by the poor performance of the Bulgarian Socialist Party – which held the government mandate of the Plamen Oresharski administration – in the European Parliament elections on May 25 2014.
Shortly after the election results were announced, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms – which gave its support to the Oresharski cabinet, but had no formal coalition agreement with the socialists – said that the government had become untenable and called for early parliamentary elections.
Despite attempts by the socialist leadership to extend the term of the 42nd National Assembly, the October 5 date was agreed during talks between political parties, hosted by Plevneliev in late June.