The five member parties of Bulgaria’s Reformist Bloc signed an agreement transforming the bloc into a political union on December 20 2013.
The five parties are the Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria, Bulgaria for Citizens Movement, Union of Democratic Forces, the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union and the Freedom and Dignity National Party.
The bloc was founded after the May 2013 national parliamentary elections by a group of parties on the right-wing and centrist spectrum that formerly had seats in the legislature or that were newly-formed and also did not win seats.
Two recent polls give the Reformist Bloc a strong chance of seats in the next National Assembly, both indicating that the bloc would have the third-largest share of seats were elections held now. Alpha Research said that the Reformist Bloc had 6.9 per cent support and Exacta, an agency founded by people formerly with the National Centre for the Study of Public Opinion, said that the bloc had 5.8 per cent support.
In the course of its brief career from its founding to the December 20 transformation into a political union, the bloc has had trouble within its ranks, first with the Green Party quitting and more recently with the Blue Unity party. The latter has had internal divisions over co-operation with the rest of the bloc.
The agreement signed on December 20 envisages the bloc becoming a single political formation over time. Currently, it is a coalition rather than a merged entity.
The political agreement provides for an executive board of 21 people to make the important decisions. Six of these will be non-party members.
The bloc will have a presidency of six people, one from each party and one from the bloc’s “civil quota”.
Each of the constituent parties will nominate election candidates. The bloc’s list will be decided by the executive board but subject to approval by the “civic council”, which will be entitled to nominate non-party candidates and reject those nominated by the parties.
Bulgaria for Citizens leader Meglena Kouneva said that the ultimate goal of the bloc was union.
DSB leader Radan Kanev said that the bloc was open to working with other parties.
Blue Unity was not formally excluded from the final negotiations on the political union but did not take part in them. It is expected that Nadezhda Neynski and the Blue Unity leadership will take a formal decision on December 21 on whether to join the coalition.