World Bulletin/News Desk
Bulgaria's main opposition party held an apparently unassailable lead in European Parliamentary elections, early data showed on Monday, prompting its leader to call for early elections.
With more than 75 percent of votes counted the centre-right GERB party had won 31.1 percent of votes, central electoral commission data showed, putting it comfortably ahead of the ruling Socialists (BSP) on 18.8 percent.
The EU ballot is a big test for the minority government of Plamen Oresharski's BSP, who came to power one year ago but have faced massive anti-corruption protests.
"The result showed that this government should step down immediately," GERB's leader and former prime minister Boiko Borisov told reporters on Sunday night.
Socialist leader Sergei Stanishev dismissed Borisov's suggestion, pointing that the combined result of the Socialists and their junior coalition partner the ethnic Turkish MRF party on 16.4 percent was higher than that of GERB.
Bulgaria Without Censorship, the populist party of former journalist Nikolai Barekov that has called for higher incomes and a war on corruption, came fourth with 10.7 percent and also demanded early polls.
Elsewhere in the European Union, Eurosceptic nationalists scored stunning victories in France and Britain as EU critics more than doubled their seats in a continent-wide protest vote against austerity and unemployment.Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Mayıs 2014, 10:46