SOFIA - Bulgaria's president appealed on Wednesday to political parties to hammer out a coalition deal after an inconclusive election at the weekend left the European Union's poorest country with no clear candidate to form a government.
Bulgaria, plagued by poverty, corruption and organized crime, has been in a state of paralysis since nationwide protests forced the previous leadership from power, and it now faces more drift until a new government is formed.
A working government is needed urgently to negotiate EU funds for the next seven years, draft the 2014 budget, and try to address popular anger over poor living conditions and high power prices that sparked the protests earlier this year.
"It is important to have a stable government. Everything else, new elections, would mean detribalization," President Rosen Plevneliev told reporters.
"Bulgaria does not need new elections now. This will scare away investors," he said.