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Elections

Bulgarian PM resigns after presidential candidate's defeat to Rumen Radev

Boiko Borisov has announced that he will step down as Bulgarian prime minister. His resignation was prompted by the victory of Socialist-backed general Rumen Radev in the presidential election.

Following the defeat of his center-right party's candidate in Bulgaria's presidential election on Sunday, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has said he will resign as promised.

"In the first working day of the parliament we will tender the government resignation," Borisov told reporters.

Bulgarien Premierminister Bojko Borissow kündigt Rücktritt an (Reuters/S. Nenov)

Boiko Borisov

"The results clearly shows the governing coalition has no majority and cannot pass the upcoming budget," he added.

The collapse of Borisov's minority government is likely to plunge the Black Sea state into months of political uncertainty and most likely trigger early elections in the spring next year.

Socialist candidate Rumen Radev (pictured above), a 53-year-old Moscow-friendly general, was elected as Bulgaria's president with 59.4 percent of the vote. Tsetska Tsacheva, the 58-year-old candidate of the ruling center-right GERB party and Borisov's choice, was left behind with 36.2 percent with 99.3 percent of polling stations counted.

Radev won the first round of voting last weekend with 25.44 percent, but failed to secure an overall majority.

Pro-Russia, tighter borders

Radev's election as president could see Bulgaria strengthening ties with Russia, potentially putting the country at odds with its European Union and NATO allies. Radev has repeatedly insisted that "being a member of the EU and NATO does not mean that Bulgaria must be an enemy of Russia."

During his election campaign, he also called for  sanctions imposed on Russia over its role in the eastern Ukraine conflict to be lifted and pledged to support tougher border security to prevent an influx of migrants.

While most power in the country rests with the prime minister and parliament, the president leads the armed forces and can veto legislation, sign international treaties and appoint top security and judicial officials.

ksb/rc (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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