Bulgarian prime minister says he will resign

Boiko Borisov told the Bulgarian Parliament on Wednesday that his government would stand down with a new election likely in April or May.

 SOFIA, Bulgaria — Bulgaria's prime minister said Wednesday that his center-right government will resign following protests over the country's struggling economy.

Boiko Borisov told Parliament that he would hand in his resignation after the regular Cabinet meeting later in the day.

The move comes as the center-right government is losing public support in the wake of the country's worst economic downturn in a decade and ahead of general elections in July. The resignation means that early elections will be held, likely in April or May.

Tens of thousands of protesters across the country — which is an EU member — hit the streets over the weekend, accusing the government of failing to improve their living standards.

The protest in the capital, Sofia, on Tuesday night turned violent as police in riot gear clashed with protesters, leaving 14 people injured.

Borisov said that such violence prompted his decision.

"Our power was handed to us by the people, today we are handing it back to them," Borisov said.

"I cannot stand looking at a bloody Eagles' Bridge," he added, referring to the busy intersection in downtown Sofia where police and protesters clashed Tuesday. "Every drop of blood is a shame for us."

Borisov gave no immediate indication whether he intended to remain as leader of his party in the coming election campaign.

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