Bulgaria sets European Parliament election date for May 25

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria will hold elections for the European Parliament on May 25, President Rosen Plevneliev announced on Friday, setting the date for a vote seen as a key test for the Balkan country's fragile Socialist-led government.

Opinion polls suggest the ruling Socialists and the opposition, centre-right GERB party are running neck-and-neck for the vote that will choose 17 European deputies for the European chamber.

The Socialists and their junior partner, the ethnic Turkish MRF party, command a fragile majority with the unofficial support of the Attack party in Parliament. They need to win the most votes in the European Union poll or face renewed pressure from opposition parties to resign, political analysts say.

The government looked as though it might fall last year when thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets in anti-corruption protests. The protests have since dwindled, but political tensions remain high.

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