Proposed Oresharski cabinet to be presented to Parliament for vote on May 28

Expectations are that Bulgaria’s next cabinet, of “experts” headed by prime minister-designate Plamen Oresharski, will be presented to Parliament for a vote of approval on May 28 2013.

The leadership of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, which nominated former finance minister Oresharski to head the government, was due to endorse the list of nominees on May 27.

The socialist party, which ran second in the May 12 parliamentary elections, received on May 23 a mandate to attempt to form a government after the party with the largest share of seats, Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB, declined the offer in the face of certain opposition from the other three parties in the National Assembly.

On May 26, the name of one future member of the cabinet became known when the director of Sheinovo Hospital in Sofia, Dr Tanya Andreeva, said in a television interview that she would be taking the health portfolio.

The week was due to begin with Oresharski holding consultations with four parties, of which three did not win seats in Parliament.

Reportedly, he was due to meet Volen Siderov’s ultra-nationalists Ataka, the smallest party in the 42nd National Assembly, and with representatives of nationalists VMRO, Meglena Kouneva’s Bulgaria of Citizens and the Voice of the People party. VMRO said, however, that it was not aware that it was supposed to be attending these consultations and had heard about this only from media reports.

According to the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Oresharski would discuss with these parties aspects of the future government’s programme priorities for 2013 to 2017.

Somewhat more significantly, the socialist party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms – the latter the third-largest party in the National Assembly – have been conducting consultations on the programme for the new government.

Movement for Rights and Freedoms MP Yordan Tsonev told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio on May 26 that Oresharski had promised that he would be ready with the line-up of the new cabinet on May 27.

According to Tsonev, the BSP and MRF had been “making progress” in negotiations on the programme for governance.

Previously, Borissov, who was prime minister of Bulgaria from July 2009 to mid-March 2013, jeered at the BSP-MRF-Ataka alliance in support of the envisaged cabinet, underlined policy differences among the parties on key issues such as taxation and the statutory minimum salary.

Tsonev said that most of the “concrete policies and urgent measures” had been finalised in detail.

He that there was an agreement that the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (SEWRC) should undertake measures to keep the electricity price unchanged until it underwent a detailed analysis.

Ataka MP Yavor Notev told Bulgarian National Radio on May 26 that the ultra-nationalist party would decide whether it would support the Oresharski government after the administration’s programme and cabinet list were announced.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party’s Mihail Mikov, Speaker of the 42nd National Assembly and a former interior minister in the 2005 to 2009 socialist-led tripartite coalition government, told Bulgarian National Radio that the Oresharski administration would make major changes to the Interior Ministry.

This included an envisioned “serious reform” to open the Interior Ministry to more accountability and control, according to Mikov.

His remarks came against a background of the election campaign having been dominated by bitter exchanges over alleged wrongdoing by the Interior Ministry in having conducted unlawful eavesdropping.

Mikov said that he would not allow what he called the prior practice of ministers “running and hiding” instead of attending Question Time in Parliament.

(Photo of Oresharski:




The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.