The Bulgarian Socialist Party will present to people a programme for radical change to create a social and democratic Bulgaria, party leader Sergei Stanishev said on February 27 2013 after formally turning down a mandate from President Rossen Plevneliev to seek to form a government.
Stanishev made the statement and the ritual handover-and-return ceremony at the President’s office, part of the process of moving Bulgaria towards a caretaker government and early elections after the resignation of Boiko Borissov’s centre-right government.
“The President gave me a mandate and I returned it. The situation in the country requires the holding of early elections. It should be for the people to declare who can be trusted,” Stanishev said.
“I will not be the next Prime Minister of the country,” he said, saying that he had no ambitions to power and apparently indicating that should his party be part of forming a government, he would not head a ruling coalition.
Stanishev was prime minister in the socialist-led tripartite coalition government of Bulgaria from 2005 to 2009.
He said on February 27 that he had left the country in a stable condition with adequate incomes and other positives and the years of Borissov’s government had brought Bulgaria to its knees.
The recent series of three separate incidents in which individuals in Bulgaria had set themselves on fire, reportedly in protest and in frustration at financial difficulties, was “tragic”, Stanishev said.
“We need radical change,” he said.
The nationwide protests showed the need for unity to lead Bulgaria out of the “degrading” situation it was in, according to Stanishev.
“What made people go out on the streets was the total misery. People cannot meet their basic needs,” he said.
He said that the “plundering” was continuing as in recent days a large number of deals and decisions were prepared to be finalised.