Bulgaria's ruling coalition has survived its third no-confidence vote as the opposition accused the government of failing to deal with an influx of thousands of Syrian refugees.

Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski's minority coalition struck down the motion by 116 votes, out of a total of 217 lawmakers who took part, the Associated Press news agency reported.

The opposition accused the government of being caught unprepared by a surge of some 12,000 refugees, mainly from Syria, which has strained the country's asylum system, the Reuters news agency reported.

Government critics also say crime has risen across the country because large number of police officers were sent to the capital Sofia to respond to eight months of anti-government protests last year.

"GERB had no moral right to a claim a vote of no confidence because its national security policy was its biggest failure for Bulgaria's citizens," said Sergei Stanishev, the leader of the ruling Socialist party (BSP).

GERB, which won the most votes in last year's general election but failed to find a partner to form a government, has pledged to keep pressure on Oresharski's government until it resigns.

Source: Agencies