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Bulgarian Cabinet Faces Collapse In No-Confidence Vote.

The motion was proposed by the opposition GERB party of conservative former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

The motion was proposed by the opposition GERB party of conservative former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov's six-month-old government is on the brink of being toppled in a no-confidence vote over disagreements on the economy and whether Sofia should drop opposition to North Macedonia's European Union accession.

If the four-party coalition government led by Petkov collapses in the vote on June 22, Bulgaria could face its fourth parliamentary election since April last year.

The motion was proposed by the opposition GERB party of conservative former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

Petkov, a 42-year-old Harvard graduate, has pledged to tackle corruption and took an unusually strong stance against Russia despite Sofia's traditionally friendly relations with Moscow.

Petkov fired his defense minister in February for refusing to call the Russian invasion of Ukraine "war" and backed EU sanctions against Moscow.

The ruling coalition can rely on the support of just 109 of 240 lawmakers. The motion needs 121 votes to pass.

Six lawmakers from the ITN grouping, which left the government earlier this month, are also expected to back the government.

The ITN left after accusing Petkov of disregarding Bulgaria's interests by pushing to lift its veto on North Macedonia's EU accession talks under pressure from its EU and NATO allies.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who visited Bulgaria earlier this month, urged Sofia to drop its opposition to North Macedonia’s EU aspirations over a series of language and historical disagreements.

Bulgaria is also grappling with high inflation, which has surged to a 24-year high last month when it reached 15.6 percent.

Fresh polls are likely to benefit Borisov's GERB party as well as pro-Russian parties like nationalist Revival as the economic woes and the war in Ukraine polarize society.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP

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