The Bulgarian Socialist Party will not seek to form a government in the current Parliament nor will it propose members of the caretaker cabinet, BSP leader Kornelia Ninova told President Rossen Plevneliev at a meeting on November 18.
Plevneliev held talks for just less than an hour with a BSP delegation headed by Ninova, as part of his series of political consultations on resolving the situation following the resignation of Boiko Borissov’s government.
President Plevneliev said that he would exert every effort, “I am ready to help anyone in any way that I can within the framework of my constitutional powers, to find a solution so that the resignation of the government does not turn into the resignation of the National Assembly”.
At the start of the meeting, he asked the BSP MPs whether they saw an opportunity within the existing 43rd National Assembly to form a new government.
“This is important and I want to appeal for it, because I sincerely want that and you can rely on me,” Plevneliev said.
He said that the constitution “obliges us to make these efforts” towards a possible formation of a new government and said that he would take the hand of anyone who wanted to do so.
Recent opinion surveys had shown that Bulgarians did not want early parliamentary elections, Plevneliev said.
Speaking to reporters outside the Presidency building, Ninova said that she had told Plevneliev the BSP’s position, that if it was offered an exploratory mandate to try to form a government, it would return it.
Bulgaria’s constitution says that in the event of a government resigning, the President must first offer a mandate to the largest party in Parliament – currently, GERB, which has said it will turn it down. Then a mandate must be handed to the second-largest party, currently the BSP. After that, the President may offer it to any other parliamentary group of his choice.
Ninova said that the BSP also would turn down participation in any effort by a third parliamentary group to seek to form a government.
“We will not participate in such a government, with 38 MPs in this Parliament,” Ninova said.
Ninova predicted that the early parliamentary elections would be in late March or early April.
She said that the BSP would not nominate any members of the caretaker cabinet, adding that the constitution specified that this was the prerogative of the incumbent President.
There have been several indications that there will be an effort for the caretaker cabinet, the appointment of which will follow the failure to achieve an elected government, to be appointed on the basis of consensus between Plevneliev and socialist-backed president-elect Roumen Radev.
Plevneliev said earlier on November 18 that he did not want a conflict between himself and the president-elect nor a situation where he would appoint a caretaker cabinet and then Radev, who will come into office as head of state on January 22 2017, would appoint a different one.
Plevneliev also earlier denied that he had a caretaker cabinet ready, adding that it seemed to him that everyone in Bulgaria but him was coming up with a caretaker cabinet.
The consultations that Plevneliev is holding with political parties, and that will continue next week, are part of the sequel to the resignation of Borissov in response to his GERB party’s sweeping defeat at the hands of Radev in the November 2016 presidential elections.