Gthe party of Bulgaria’s ousted prime minister Boyko Borisov, secured a slim victory at the 2013 snap parliamentary elections Sunday night. Although for the first time in Bulgaria’s modern history a party repeats its electoral success in a second consecutive vote, Mr. Borisov and his political cohort have more to worry about than to celebrate. Winning 97 out of the 240 seats in the National Assembly, GERB fell quite short of obtaining the 121 legislative seats requisite for a parliamentary majority. Thus, Mr. Borisov will now have to turn to the other three parties, which entered parliament, so as to form either a coalition or a minority government with enough political support.

The runner-up in Sunday’s elections – the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) – has been one of the most vocal detractors of GERB. During the electoral campaign, BSP accused Mr. Borisov’s party of wiretapping other politicians, widespread corruption, illicitly influencing the judiciary and attempting to falsify the elections. Although the independent, Austrian company SORS, which was hired by opposition parties to organize a parallel vote tabulation, confirmed the results of the Central Electoral Commission, the representatives of BSP still stuck to an accusative rhetoric, claiming GERB-orchestrated electoral fraud as the reason. In addition, at a press conference later on Sunday night, the socialists announced that they will try to negotiate a cabinet with all other parties in the legislature but GERB. Thus, Mr. Borisov’s chances to head a BSP-supported administration are essentially non-existent and considering the bitter rivalry and vitriolic remarks which he often exchanges with Sergei Stanishev, BSP’s leader, he most probably does not even want to.

The third largest party – the Movement for Rights and Freedoms – has been represented in Bulgaria’s National Assembly ever since 1991 and has always secured a similar number of seats – between 30 and 40 – relying mostly on the consistent support of the ethnically-Turkish Bulgarians in the southern parts of the country. A de facto ally of the socialists, however, the movement also denied any possibility to support another administration headed by Borisov, claiming that Bulgarians rejected the single-party government model because Borisov turned it into an authoritarian form of leadership. Thus, Mr. Borisov’s attempts, if any, to receive the backing of the third largest party in parliament will likely be of no avail.

The last political formation in the legislature – the ultranationalists from Political Party “Attack” (“Ataka” in Bulgarian) – will most probably refuse to grant support to Mr. Borisov as well. During the night of the elections, Volen Siderov, the leader of Ataka, blamed GERB for lying to him and to the Bulgarian people during their previous term. In addition, he claimed that GERB’s anti-state, pro-colonial policies deserve no second chance. Demanding that all gold deposits be nationalized and that the license of CEZ, the private company for electricity distribution in western Bulgaria, be revoked, Siderov stated that he will not support parties; he will support, however, policy proposals that are consistent with Ataka’s platform. Consequently, unless GERB miraculously manages to reconcile its stance with Ataka, the party should not expect a hand from Mr. Siderov’s people either.

After a tumultuous electoral campaign and election results that are too close to give any party the comfort of forming a non-coalition government, Bulgaria now faces the prospect of another political crisis after the unanticipated resignation of PM Boyko Borisov’s government in March. Should GERB fail to ally itself with one of the other three parties in the National Assembly, the only option left will be a three-party coalition, including everyone, but the hitherto ruling cohort of Mr. Borisov. However, considering the bitter rivalry between the ultranationalists from Ataka and the mostly ethnic Turks in the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, a coalition formed by the BSP, bringing Ataka and MRF together, seems like a volatile construct doomed to a fugacious success. Thus, the current care-taker government, which was initially appointed for 2 months, might see its term prolonged endlessly or, at the very least, until either a party garners enough popular support to form a cabinet alone or the current parties manage to reconcile their differences and act to the best interest of the country.