Bulgaria: President sets date for early general elections

Bulgaria's new president, Rumen Radev, has set March 26 as the date for early elections and appointed a law professor to lead a caretaker government until then.

The president's office announced on Tuesday that Radev will dissolve parliament on Friday.

Ognyan Gerdzhikov, a 70-year-old centrist who served as parliament speaker from 2001 to 2005, will be interim prime minister.

The snap vote — the third in four years — follows the resignation of Boiko Borisov's center-right government after Radev's crushing victory in a November presidential election against the candidate of the ruling party.

Halfway into its four-year term, Borisov's government managed to restore political stability after months of anti-corruption protests. But its popularity faded because of the slow pace of reforms to eliminate graft and poverty and overhaul the judicial system in the European Union's poorest member country.