Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev has denied reports that a caretaker cabinet is already being put together to take over from Boiko Borissov’s Cabinet that resigned this week.
“I have the feeling that all of Bulgaria is coming up with a caretaker government, just not the President,” Plevneliev said in Malta, where he was on a state visit between consultations with political parties on the way out of the current political situation.
Plevneliev met Borissov on November 17, in the first step of the round of political consultations. Borissov repeated that he was not willing to seek to form a new government nor to have his GERB party involved in a caretaker government.
Plevneliev, who on his return from Malta on November 18 was to meet the National Assembly’s second-largest party, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, underlined that he would not permit a situation where he and president-elect Roumen Radev came into conflict, nor one where he appointed a caretaker cabinet and Radev – on taking office – appointed another one.
“My appeal is to political parties is, let’s make an effort to seek and find a sustainable solution within the current National Assembly. Failing that, moving forward, building on the foundations of the Bulgarian Constitution and the rule of law,” Plevneliev said.
“In view of all the rumors in the media, comments and personalities tipped to be ministers and prime minister … I have the feeling that all of Bulgaria is coming up with a caretaker government, just not the President.
“As someone who knows the constitution, I can say that the most important thing for the country is to avoid a parliamentary crisis,” he said.
“My job as a democrat to do my best – and not only I, but the parliamentary parties too – to prevent the political crisis to lead to a parliamentary crisis,” Plevneliev said.
He said that the purpose of the round of consultations with political parties was not to queue up names, but to preserve stability and parliamentary order.
Plevneliev, who will continue consultations next week by holding talks with the six other parliamentary groups, said that the goal was to keep Parliament in place.
He said that there were the referendum results to deal with, Bulgaria’s forthcoming presidency of the European Union, and anti-corruption and anti-terrorism legislation.
Should it prove impossible to keep the current Parliament in place, and no party was willing to form a government, a special meeting of the Consultative Council on National Security to discuss an election date and the method by which an election would be held.
Only after the Consultative Council would the President go through the procedure of offering exploratory mandates to seek to form a government.
On the issue of consulting Radev about the caretaker cabinet, Plevneliev said that it was not in the public interest to have a confrontation between the current and future presidents, and have a situation where one appoints a caretaker cabinet and the next one dismisses it.
He said that it was a matter of being responsible towards the country to come up with a caretaker cabinet together, but “I will not run away from my responsibility, if necessary, to bear sole responsbility for the (caretaker) government”.