Bulgaria’s Movement for Rights and Freedoms calls for early parliamentary elections by end of 2014

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) believes that early parliamentary elections should be held by the end of 2014, possibly either on November 30 or December 7, Lyutvi Mestan – leader of the party that is the key partner in Bulgaria’s ruling axis – told a news conference in Sofia on June 5.

Mestan said that the news conference was being held to clarify the party’s message after varying interpretations of it in the media since the May 25 2014 European Parliament elections in Bulgaria.

In those elections, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, holder of the mandate to govern, was dealt a poor second place while the MRF turned in a solid performance, going by the official results released by the Central Election Commission.

The distant second place of the BSP, which trailed well behind centre-right opposition GERB, has spurred renewed calls from opposition parties for early parliamentary elections.

Mestan said that ahead of the European Parliament elections, there had been expectations that the outcome would answer many questions. He said that the outcome had answered many questions but also had raised many questions.

He said that while his party had congratulated GERB on coming first, that party did not have reason for euphoria, arguing that GERB had lost votes in comparison to the May 2013 early national parliamentary elections, and added that the Reformist Bloc too had far fewer votes than those of its constituent parties that stood in the May 2013 vote.

Mestan said that the MRF analysis of the outcome of the European Parliament elections found that it was impossible for the cabinet in which Plamen Oresharski is prime minister to serve a full term in office. A full term in office for the current cabinet was not a path to stability, Mestan said.

There were three options, according to Mestan: parliamentary and municipal elections in October 2015, parliamentary elections in mid-2015 or parliamentary elections by the end of 2014.

This latter option meant a term in office for the cabinet of a further four months, the resignation of the cabinet in late September or early October at the latest, a smooth transition of power to a caretaker cabinet and early parliamentary elections on the last weekend of November or the first weekend of December.

Mestan underlined that his party’s motivation in its recommendation was in the interest of the political stability of the country. If it was a matter of pure party interest, it would best suit the MRF for the current cabinet to stay in power for the longest term, he said.

It would make sense for a government to continue only if it was able to make the transformation from survival mode to effective governance, he said.

He said that an important factor in the timing of an election was the requirement in law that Bulgaria approves its Budget by the end of October.

Mestan, who said that he had held talks on the issue with Oresharski before holding the news conference, said that the MRF was not imposing its recommendations, and wanted constructive dialogue towards a solution.



The Sofia Globe staff

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