Bulgaria's new President Rumen Radev has set the date for early general elections for March 26, his office announced Tuesday.
Radev, who only took office this week, will disband parliament on Friday and appoint an interim cabinet headed by ex-parliamentary speaker, Law professor Ognyan Gerdzhikov, 69, who will organise the vote, the presidency said in a statement.
The names of the ministers in Gerdzhikov's interim technocrat cabinet are expected to be announced at the end of the week.
The European Union's poorest country entered renewed political turmoil after the Socialist-backed ex-airforce chief and political novice Radev won the presidential vote resoundingly in November over the candidate of the ruling conservative GERB party.
Radev's election prompted GERB's premier Boyko Borisov and his government to resign the same month.
According to the latest opinion polls, the conservative GERB and the Socialists are running neck in neck, making the formation of a future government appear extremely difficult.