Bulgaria’s MRF declines offer to govern, clearing way for early elections
Bulgaria’s Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), the third-largest party in the National Assembly, declined on July 30 2014 head of state President Rossen Plevneliev’s offer of a mandate to govern, in a move that clears the way for the country to hold early parliamentary elections on October 5.
Earlier, the largest party, Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB, and the current holder of the mandate to govern, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, also declined the mandates offered.
After the resignation of the “Oresharski” cabinet and Parliament’s acceptance of that resignation, Bulgaria’s constitution requires the head of state to offer a mandate to govern first to the largest party in the National Assembly, then the second-largest and then to one of his choice – in this case, out of the two parties remaining, the MRF.
It had been agreed in advance that the GERB, BSP and MRF all would decline the offer to seek to form a government so that elections – prompted by the BSP having been thrashed in European Parliament elections, a development that followed more than a year of anti-government protests – could go ahead.
In the final days before Plevneliev conducted the ceremony with MRF leader Lyutvi Mestan, the BSP had tried to spread rumours that the MRF, its estranged ruling axis partner, would break the agreement and form a coalition government with GERB.
As had been expected, the BSP claims proved to be untrue. In Parliament, meanwhile, GERB announced a boycott of sittings until the National Assembly is dissolved, offended by BSP claims that Borissov’s party and the MRF are operating as a new parliamentary majority.
Plevneliev will announce the caretaker cabinet on August 5.