Politicians in Bulgaria have approved a no-confidence motion against the country’s coalition government that could topple the prime minister and stall efforts by Balkan countries to join the European Union.
The centre-right opposition party GERB filed the motion last week, accusing the government of mishandling public finances and economic policy and failing to tackle rising inflation.
The no-confidence vote passed 123-116 with no abstentions.
Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, a Harvard-educated businessman, formed a four-party coalition government in December.
He has pushed for a resolution to a bilateral ethno-cultural dispute that has blocked North Macedonia and Albania’s bids to join the EU.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has prompted the EU to consider speeding up its membership drive in the Western Balkans to prevent Moscow from expanding its influence in the region.
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev can either install a caretaker government or call an early parliamentary election, which would be the country’s fourth in a little more than a year.