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Bulgaria

Yearbook 1997

1997 BulgariaBulgaria. The crisis patterns from the previous year continued and deepened, both in the economy and in politics. The value of the currency fell and inflation increased at the same time as the political contradictions between the country's two main forces, the ruling Socialist Party Bulgarian Sotsialiticheska Partiya (BSP) and opposition in the center-right coalition, Sayuz na Demokratichni Sili (SDS), increased.

According to Countryaah, socialist Party leader Zjan Videnov had resigned as prime minister in December 1996. The country was therefore without a prime minister and a functioning government. The opposition demanded new elections to Parliament, the Bulgarian National Assembly, and was supported by strong public opinion as well as by newly elected President Petar Stojanov of SDS. However, the Socialist Party refused to dissolve the National Assembly and asserted its constitutional right to appoint Prime Minister (BSP had won the election in December 1994 and sat on a four-year term).

1997 Bulgaria

According to the Constitution, President Stojanov was obliged to offer the largest party in the National Assembly, ie. BSP, the role of Government Former. He did so but expected given the situation to get back the bid with a recommendation on new elections. However, Prime Ministerial candidate Nikolaij Dobrev nominated by BSP announced that he intended to form a new government. SDS President Ivan Kostov opposed this and the country's three largest unions threatened to call for a general strike.

A few days later, in early February, BSP joined and allowed President Stojanov to announce new elections until April 19. An interim government, led by the popular mayor of Sofia, SDS member Stefan Sofijanski, was appointed. At the end of the month, the government announced that it had begun negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance to resolve the country's economic crisis; a first loan of DKK 675 million dollars were granted in April. The government also decided to apply for membership in NATO and in the EU.

In the April 19 election, SDS won. The coalition occupied 137 of the National Assembly's 240 seats. SDS President Ivan Kostov was appointed Prime Minister.

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