In a move likely to prove no more than Quixotic, Bulgaria’s nationalist Patriotic Front parliamentary group said on November 23 that it was willing to try to form a government in the wake of the resignation of Boiko Borissov’s cabinet.
“We are ready to take control of the country,” Patriotic Front co-leader Krassimir Karakachanov said after he and the group’s other co-leader, Valeri Simeonov, held talks with President Rossen Plevneliev.
Plevneliev is holding a succession of meetings with all eight parliamentary groups to discuss the way forward after Borissov resigned over his GERB party’s defeat in Bulgaria’s November 2016 presidential elections.
Borissov’s GERB, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and the Reformist Bloc – the four largest parliamentary groups – all have said that they are not willing to try to form a government.
In Bulgaria’s 240-member National Assembly, the Patriotic Front has 17 MPs. In the presidential elections, it got together with its former foes, Volen Siderov’s ultra-nationalist Ataka, to mount a joint presidential election ticket with Karakachanov as the candidate. Karakachanov ran third out of 21 candidates.
Siderov’s Ataka has 11 MPs, making it one of the two smallest parliamentary groups in the National Assembly.
Karakachanov told reporters outside the Presidency building in Sofia that if there was agreement and readiness for an “expert government”, his group was ready to accept a mandate to seek to form a government.
The Patriotic Front would, until next Tuesday, hold talks on this with all parliamentary groups, with the exception of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms – a party traditionally led and supported in the main by Bulgarians of Turkish ethnicity – and Lyutvi Mestan’s DOST party, a breakaway from the MRF that has too few MPs to form an official parliamentary group.
The option of trying to form a government would be implemented “only if we receive support from other parties,” Simeonov said.
A second option that the PF had put to the President was to keep the current government (the resignation of which has already been approved by Parliament) in place, but with a different prime minister, Simeonov said.
At about 90 minutes, the talks between the Patriotic Front leadership and Plevneliev were the longest of the five meetings that the President has held with parliamentary groups since last week.
Earlier on November 23, presiding at a Cabinet meeting, Borissov – still acting as prime minister pending the formation of a caretaker administration – hit out at other parties, saying that “everyone wants to govern, but when the time comes, they run like hell, like devils from incense”.
(Screenshot via BNT)