Bulgaria’s former prime minister Boiko Borissov called on July 31 for the ruling coalition to schedule early parliamentary elections at the same time with European Parliament elections in May 2014.
Earlier, Borissov asked for the immediate resignation of the Plamen Oresharski government and holding elections in autumn. He now appears to have changed his mind because of the additional cost of new elections.
Speaking in Parliament during a break from debates on the Budget revision, Borissov said that the money would be spent on European Parliament elections anyway. “[The government] must announce a date for the early elections, to placate the society. It is too late to have them in October, it could be November or the end of the year. There will be MEP elections in May, the money will be spent anyway,” he told reporters.
“When we talk about early elections, Bulgarians should know how much this will cost them. Beyond the additional expense […] the elections also influence the work of the state administration. It is understandable – all the institutions and agencies are waiting to see who will be replaced,” Borissov said.
“During this time, the [public sector] is not working, which is why its revenue is so low and it will not get any better. At the same time, the private sector is hampered as well, because it is waiting on certain measures and decisions,” he said.
Borissov’s party, GERB, won the May 2013 election but was unable to find any coalition partners to form the government. The party rejected the outcome of the elections, citing extensive media coverage on the so-called “day of contemplation” before Election Day, when its political rivals campaigned against GERB.
GERB’s suit to have the elections declared void was rejected by the Constitutional Court, which ruled that the existing election legislation banned campaigning for a political party, but not against one.
Borissov has said that whatever the outcome of the next election, his party would accept the outcome.
Borissov’s suggestion was not accepted by the two parties in the ruling coalition. Deputy socialist party leader Yanaki Stoilov said his party did not change its position rejecting the resignation of the Oresharski cabinet.
“The elections will be decided based on the policies pursued by the government, the Budget it will put forth and the result of its action plan. When we have an answer to all these questions next year, then we can discuss this issue,” Stoilov said, as quoted by news agency Focus.
The leader of the other party in the ruling coalition, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Lyutvi Mestan said that elections should not be a goal by themselves.
“The question whether and when to hold elections should be preceded by the answer to the question why the elections are held,” he said.
For nearly six weeks, thousands of protesters have been demanding the resignation of the Oresharski government, sparked by the controversial appointment of media mogul Delyan Peevski as director of the State Agency for National Security. The rallies have continued even after the appointment was revoked, with protesters saying they did not trust the ruling coalition to govern in public interest.
(Boiko Borissov. Photo: European People’s Party)