* Early election likely, possibly by late April
* Analysts say vote could produce hung parliament, political
By Michael Winfrey and Tsvetelia Tsolova
SOFIA, Feb 21 Bulgaria's parliament accepted the
government's resignation on Thursday after a spate of violent
protests over high utility bills, opening the way for an early
election and underscoring anger in Europe over weak growth and
Outgoing Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, who had won praise
from investors by cutting the Balkan state's budget deficit, is
now struggling to rebuild support among voters weary of
persistent poverty and graft.
Lawmakers voted to accept his government's resignation.
President Rosen Plevneliev will now ask parliament's three
biggest parties if they want to form a government to rule until
an election due in July.
But both Borisov's GERB party and the main opposition
Socialists have said they have no interest in participating in a
caretaker cabinet, and analysts say that means Plevneliev could
schedule an election by as early as April.
"Only a parliamentary election can show the will of
Bulgarians," outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov
told the chamber before the vote.
The cabinet's departure brought calm after a chaotic week
of rallies against the government and foreign-owned power
utilities and a threat by Bulgarian officials to strip one of
them, Czech power group CEZ, of its licence.