Centre-right opposition GERB party leader Boiko Borissov said on June 25 that he would accept a Bulgarian Socialist Party invitation for consultations on Friday on a date for early elections, and changed his previous call for a September 28 election date to mid-September instead.
This is a reversal of Borissov’s previous position of refusing to take part in consultations with the three other parties with parliamentary groups in the National Assembly, a position he took after accusing them of breaching the June 19 agreement that the legislature and the cabinet would make no long-term decisions or appointments until there was a political settlement.
Just a few hours before Borissov’s June 25 statement that GERB would attend consultations, one of his senior MPs, Krassimir Velchev, had said in a breakfast television interview that GERB would not go.
Velchev said that it was neither the BSP nor GERB that would decide the date of early elections, but Ahmed Dogan – a reference to the long-time leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, who stepped down as leader in January 2013 but is widely perceived as remaining the real power.
Borissov said that he had changed his plans because instead of the country slowly heading for catastrophe, the catastrophe now had turned into disaster, and the state had to be saved.
“When I listen to this pseudo-prime minister (Plamen) Oresharski, my hair stands on end for fear of what they might do each week.”
Bulgaria should be spared the agony, Borissov said. Otherwise, the government could bring down another bank and put the country into a catastrophe beyond remedy. It already is beyond remedy, he said.
Borissov said that he thought that elections could be held in mid-September. By then, people would have returned from their summer holidays. He hoped for a high voter turnout so that a stable majority government could be formed.
At a June 17 meeting of the Consultative Council on National Security, attended by the leaders of political party groups in Parliament, it was agreed that the timeframe for ahead-of-term national parliamentary elections would be September 28 to October 12.
“How many times have I said that this tripartite coalition – the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, and Ataka – is disastrous for the country? They cannot even get together to dismiss (BSP leader Sergei) Stanishev to go to Brussels to do his work.”
This was a reference to the National Assembly’s failure on June 25 to secure a quorum to proceed with the day’s sitting, the agenda of which included accepting Stanishev’s resignation as an MP to take up the European Parliament seat to which he was elected on May 25. On June 24, Stanishev confirmed that he was to become an MEP – a reverse of his oft-repeated promise that if elected to the European Parliament, he would not take up his MEP seat but would remain an MP.
Asked to comment on Stanishev’s move, Borissov said, “I have enough problems to solve within GERB to get involved with other parties”.