Presiding at the first Cabinet meeting after his government’s resignation was accepted by Parliament, outgoing Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov commented: “It turned out that everyone wants to govern but when the time comes, they all run away like devils from incense”.
Borissov was speaking at the start of the Cabinet meeting on November 23, after tabling his resignation on November 14, which was accepted by the National Assembly two days later.
Borissov, who resigned over his party’s defeat in presidential elections, has underlined that he is not willing to attempt to form another government before early parliamentary elections. No other party of significance in Parliament has indicated willingness either.
He told his ministers that everyone “ran like hell” because “this really is not an easy job, to bear responsibility”.
Borissov thanked his ministers that they continued to conduct themselves responsibly at a time when everyone was deserting.
“In the fairytales, they are all big heroes, but somehow it doesn’t suit them, amid this difficult international situation, to take on the responsibility,” Borissov said.
He was speaking as President Rossen Plevneliev continued a series of consultations with all eight parliamentary groups, being conducted over a number of days, to discuss a way forward from the political situation resulting from Borissov’s resignation.
After these consultations, Plevneliev is expected to call a meeting of the Consultative Council on National Security, to seek consensus among all political groups on an election date, and then to go through the ritual required by the constitution, of three times offering various groups a mandate to govern – with the latter process certain to produce no result.
As the Bulgarian Constitutional Court has confirmed, Plevneliev may then proceed to appointing a caretaker cabinet, but it will be up to Plevneliev’s successor, Roumen Radev, to dissolve Parliament on taking office in January and to decree a date for early parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile, the national sport of speculating about an election date continued on November 23, with GERB parliamentary group leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov saying that the early parliamentary elections would be on March 20 at the earliest and April 2 at the latest.
Tsvetanov repeated that GERB would not attempt to form a government in the context of the current Parliament. Nor would it support any proposed government formed now, he told reporters.
The idea of GERB supporting a government without participating in it was “not serious,” Tsvetanov said.
Borissov’s November 2016 resignation is the second time that he has quit as prime minister before the end of his government’s term. In 2013, Borissov stepped down when protests – mobilised around energy prices and other cost-of-living issues – against his government, turned violent.