The centrist party of outgoing Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha has ended its efforts to form a new government, almost seven weeks after inconclusive parliamentary elections.

The centrists announced the failure of their efforts Thursday, two weeks after the Socialist Party also abandoned efforts to organize a new cabinet.

The Socialists outpolled the party led by Mr. Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in the June 25 elections. However, Socialist leader Sergei Stanishev could not muster enough support in the new parliament to form a coalition government.

News reports quote analysts as saying a lengthy political crisis could delay the implementation of reforms the European Union has declared necessary if Bulgaria is to join the bloc, as planned, in 2007.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.