Election win for Bulgaria's GERB

SOFIA: Bulgaria's centre-right GERB party of Sofia Mayor Boyko Borisov is the clear winner of the general election, according to definitive results released by the central electoral commission.

The former opposition party garnered 39.72 percent of the vote, which translated to 116 seats in parliament, according to the final results from Sunday's election.

Borisov, who has already said he is ready to become the next prime minister, is due to hold talks this week with the small right-wing Blue Coalition that garnered 6.76 percent and 15 seats.

An alliance with them would secure him a working majority in the 240-seat parliament.

The outgoing Socialists of Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev were still coming to terms with what was a humbling defeat.

They won only 17.70 percent support and 40 deputy seats, having won the last election in 2005 with 33.98 percent.

The Turkish minority MRF party, a junior coalition partner in the last government, won 14.45 percent and will send 38 deputies to parliament. The ultra nationalist Ataka party came fourth with 9.36 percent and 21 seats.

A newly formed right-wing party, Order, Lawfulness, Justice also squeezed in over the four-percent threshold, with 4.13 percent. That was enough to earn them 10 deputies.

But the centist NMSP party of former king Simeon Saxe Coburg, which formed a cabinet in 2001 and was the third partner in the outgoing cabinet, failed to pass the four-percent threshold.

In 2005 it registered 21.83 percent of the vote.

The official turnout was 60.20 percent, the electoral commission said.

For the first time, 31 deputies, or one from each constituency, were elected directly, with the remaining 209 seats being allotted on a proportional basis.

GERB thus won the direct vote in 26 constituencies, while five deputy seats went to the MRF.

President Georgy Parvanov will convene parliament on July 14 and hand Borisov the mandate to form a government several days later.