Political crisis in Bulgaria: Talks on new government go up in smoke

Written by on December 21, 2016 in Bulgaria - No comments

There was a lot of talk since Boyko Borissov announced his resignation, the reason for which some never fully understood. He could have carried on in spite of the fact that his weak candidate for President lost against the stronger candidate supported by the Socialists, future President Rumen Radev.

As required by the constitution for situations like this one, three mandates for the formation of a government were handed over to three parliamentary groups, by the “old” President, Rosen Plevneliev, who is still in office. Both Borissov’s party GERB and the Socialists returned their mandates, meaning they were not willing to try to form a government on the basis of the 43rd National Assembly.

When a much smaller parliamentary group, the one by the Reformist Bloc, signaled it was actually going to try to form a government with the mandate it was given, there was skepticism at first. Was this a show? Were they trying to look more important than they are?

But, talks between the Bloc, GERB and the radical, far-right Patriotic Front actually started. Statements made by participants of the talks sounded optimistic at times. There was talk about “Boyko Borissov 3”, a model in which he would have been Prime Minister yet again. Then, all of a sudden, there were statements according to which he could or would not accept that position, since this was about the Reformist Bloc’s mandate, and not GERB’s.

Then, yesterday afternoon, those talks about the formation of a new government went up in smoke all of a sudden, when Tsvetan Tsvetanov (photo), GERB’s parliamentary leader, made clear they had failed. There were differences on which participants in the negotiations had been unable to reach consensus, he said.

On the one hand, that announcement was surprising, since it was made many hours before the deadline, at which that mandate would have expired, and because the participants of the negotiations had seemed rather enthusiastic.

On the other hand, especially foreign observers were shocked to see GERB and the Reformist Bloc actually talk to forces as radical and xenophobic as the Patriotic Front and even consider forming a government with them. To them, the failure of these talks was a good sign for this country’s democracy.

Since the talks did fail, Bulgaria will have a caretaker government, possibly within hours or days. A date for new parliamentary elections will be set by Rumen Radev, once he was inaugurated.

By Imanuel Marcus

In cooperation with The Sofia Globe

 

 

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