Mestan: ‘very sober’ discussion about early elections needed

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) is ready for talks with all political forces to calm the situation in Bulgaria, and these talks can include the issue of early parliamentary elections – but that discussion should be “very sober and without emotions,” party leader Lyutvi Mestan said on May 28.

Mestan was speaking to reporters against a background of the May 25 European Parliament elections which saw the Bulgarian Socialist Party dealt a severe blow while the MRF improved its performance, while both were well behind opposition and former ruling party GERB.

GERB leader Boiko Borissov has been insistent in calls for the current government, for which the BSP holds the mandate and operates in co-operation with the MRF, to step down. Borissov has urged the MRF and ultra-nationalists Ataka to support the motion of no confidence in the cabinet currently being debated in the National Assembly.

Mestan said that the political reality was such that he could see no way that the current government and National Assembly serving out their full terms.

He indicated that there could be cabinet changes and four to five other things that needed to be done ahead of early elections, in the autumn or the latest by the end of the year. This scenario, according to Mestan, was increasingly an option for the MRF.

“The question about the legitimacy of the (Plamen) Oresharski cabinet is essential. At the same time, we should also raise the question about the real alternative,” Mestan said.

Mestan said that he had not had discussions with Ahmed Dogan, his predecessor as MRF leader and the party’s honorary president, but he would.

Asked whether he would meet with BSP leader Sergei Stanishev, Mestan said that it was up to the holder of the mandate to govern to take the initiative.

He said that other political parties should be a bit less full of emotion and euphoria – a clear reference to GERB. “There are winners, but those winners should consider their loss of nearly half a million voters,” Mestan said.

Mestan also confirmed that he had had discussions with head of state President Rossen Plevneliev, saying that it was natural that the President would want to hear the assessment of all the leaders of the political forces.

Unconfirmed reports in the Bulgarian media said that Plevneliev would make his first comments on the outcome of Bulgaria’s European Parliament elections on May 29, holding off for reasons including the fact that the President’s office was waiting for the Central Election Commission to formally announce the official results.

On May 28, reports said that the commission would announce the final results at about 7pm or 8pm.



The Sofia Globe staff

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