November 3, 2014 / 3:58 PM / 3 years ago

Bulgarian woman sets herself on fire in front of presidency

SOFIA (Reuters) - A Bulgarian woman was rushed to hospital after setting fire to herself outside the president’s office on Monday, as the president discussed the formation of a new government following an inconclusive election last month.

The woman’s motives remained unclear, but her action comes after seven people set themselves on fire across the country in the spring of 2013 in protest against low living standards and suspected corruption amongst Bulgaria’s political elite.

“The woman, a 39-year-old, was taken to hospital. She is in very serious condition,” an interior ministry spokeswoman said.

A doctor at an emergency hospital in Sofia told reporters the woman had 90 percent burns and remained in critical condition. The doctor said she has a record of mental illness, but did not elaborate.

The president was discussing forming a government with one of the political parties following the inconclusive Oct. 5 snap poll in Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest country and one of its most corrupt.

The center-right GERB party which won the vote but lacks a majority, is currently holding talks to form a minority government with a right-wing grouping and secure outside support from a nationalist party and a center-left faction.

In the first months of 2013, Bulgaria was rocked by demonstrations which brought down the center-right GERB government.

Reporting by Angel Krasimirov and Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Dominic Evans

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