The announcement came from Bulgarian President Rumen Radev after parties failed to agree on a new coalition after the collapse of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov government in June.

The new government will also have to deal with uncertainty over gas supplies ahead of the winter as the EU braces for further gas flow cuts from Russia.
The new government will also have to deal with uncertainty over gas supplies ahead of the winter as the EU braces for further gas flow cuts from Russia. (Reuters)

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has set October 2 as the date for the country's fourth parliamentary election in less than two years, after the collapse of reformist Prime Minister Kiril Petkov's coalition government in June.

Radev also appointed former labour minister Galab Donev to lead a caretaker government to serve from August 2 until a new government is formed after the election. Radev will outline the priorities of the new government on August 2, his office said in a statement on Monday.

The European Union country faces surging inflation, natural gas supply doubts and other impacts from the war in Ukraine.

The appointment of Donev, 55, a presidential adviser on social policies, is seen as a sign that shielding households from soaring energy and food prices will be a priority for the caretaker administration.

This could involve efforts to renew Russian gas imports as well as mending diplomatic relations with Moscow strained under Petkov's government. 

Petkov expelled 70 Russian diplomatic staff over espionage concerns and refused to pay for Russian gas in roubles, which led Moscow to cut supplies to a country almost completely dependent on Russian gas.

READ MORE: Four-war coalition deal on new Bulgaria govt ends political crisis

Fractured parliament?

His government, which had pledged to combat widespread corruption and criticised Russia's incursion intoUkraine, was toppled in a no-confidence vote only six months after taking office.

Three attempts to secure a majority for a new government have since failed, deepening the political crisis that may jeopardise billions of euros in EU recovery aid and derail the Balkan country's plans to adopt the euro from 2024.

The new government will also have to deal with uncertainty over gas supplies ahead of the winter as the EU braces for further gas flow cuts from Russia. 

Opinion polls show new elections are likely to produce another fractured parliament, with Petkov's centrist PP party running neck-and-neck with the centre-right GERB party of former premier Boyko Borissov. 

The surveys also show for the time being that the parties in Petkov's outgoing coalition have little chance of forming a new majority and point to an increase of support for nationalist and pro-Russian parties.

READ MORE: Will elections transform the Bulgarian state and its Turkish minority?

Source: TRTWorld and agencies