SOFIA, Bulgaria — Bulgarian Prime Minister designate Kiril Petkov presented the composition of his future government to the nation as he seeks to end eight months of political deadlock.

Petkov, 41, leader of the newly formed centrist party We Continue the Change (PP), reached an agreement a day earlier with three other left-wing and center-right groups to form a coalition government.

Petkov’s party will hold 10 of the 21 ministerial positions, including prime minister and two deputy prime minister posts. The four-party coalition will control 134 seats in Bulgaria’s 240-seat parliament, which is set to vote on approving the new government on December 13.

Petkov, whose party came in first on an anti-graft platform, told media on December 11 that the future government will have “zero tolerance” for corruption and said one of his first priorities will be to reform the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Other top priorities include controlling electricity prices and tackling COVID-19 by speeding up vaccination, he said.

Petkov officially received a mandate to form a new government earlier in the day from President Rumen Radev.

“You and the coalition partners have a responsibility to reform the vicious power model inherited from 12 years of authoritarian rule, to tackle corruption and lawlessness, the inequalities and poverty they create,” President Rumen Radev said, referring to the governance of Bulgaria’s three-time prime minister, Boyko Borisov.

Petkov, the founder of a technology investment company, recalled Bulgaria’s months of anti-corruption protests last year and said the country was ready for change.

“It is time, after 32 years, that Bulgarians saw power-holders who care for them; it is time young Bulgarians abroad saw Bulgaria as a promising place to return to, and our parents saw Bulgaria as a place where they can have a worthy pension and live their old age with dignity,” he said.

The Balkan country of 7 million has one of the world’s fastest-shrinking populations, as well as the highest income inequality and the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the 27-nation EU.

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