Bulgarian PM, Cabinet resign en masse

Feb. 20, 2013 at 9:03 AM

SOFIA, Bulgaria, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and his Cabinet resigned Wednesday, saying they hope the actions would prevent protests from becoming more violent.

Parliamentary leader Tsetska Tsacheva said lawmakers will vote Thursday on the resignations, Sofia News Agency reported.

The resignations came after protests against rising electricity prices turned into rallies expressing discontent over austerity programs, corruption and Borisov's running the country.

"We have dignity and honor. It is the people who put us in power and we give it back to them today," Borisov told Parliament in his unexpected announcement.

Borisov said the threat of protests becoming violent drove his decision, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Protests across Sofia Tuesday resulted in 25 people arrested and 14 people injured, police said.

"Every drop of blood is a shame for us," Borisov said

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev likely will seek to form a caretaker government to administer the country and will propose moving national elections to the spring instead of July 7 as scheduled, analysts told the Journal.

Borisov said his party, the Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria, wouldn't be a part of a caretaker administration.

On Tuesday, Borisov pledged, among other things, to cut electricity prices in an effort to stem the escalation of anti-government protests that forced Finance Minister Simeon Djankov out of office.

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