A formula has to be found for a stable government because Bulgaria needs a stable government, and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms will contribute to finding a solution to “this complex situation,” MRF leader Lyutvi Mestan said, referring to indications that the next Parliament will have seven to eight parties.
Arriving at the election centre a few hours after polls closed in Bulgaria’s October 5 2014 early parliamentary elections, Mestan – when it was put to him that GERB leader Boiko Borissov had said that his party does not want to govern with the MRF – said that one of the first lessons any politician had to learn was to distinguish between desire and reality.
“Tonight we all owe respect due to the vote of the Bulgarian citizens. We have no right to tell them to sit another examination because they got it wrong,” said Mestan, referring to comments by Borissov and other party leaders about the expected difficult in forming a government, and the spectre of fresh elections in a few months.
It was time to find the will to build consensus, Mestan said.
“Let us sleep on the final results and analyse them,” he said, saying that everyone had “read what is coded in the vote”.
He said that the “strong vote” for his party was a vote for national consensus (a reference to the stated election campaign message of the MRF, former partner in the May 2013/August 2014 ruling axis) and added that the 500 000 votes the MRF had won was unprecedented for a party leaving government in Bulgaria.
Mestan said that his party would be a “corrective” irrespective of its relation to the government.
He said that data indicating that his party got the most votes among Roma people “fills me with pride”, as did indications that the MRF had won the most votes among people with only basic education.
“I am glad these people hear our messages. Our messages were for the little guy,” Mestan said.
While, at a post-midnight news conference, Mestan was opaque on the question of his party’s relation with a possible future GERB-led coalition, he had a clear message that a “Euro-Atlantic alliance” does not imply the participation in government of extreme nationalist parties.
In a clear reference to the entry into the 43rd National Assembly not only of the Patriotic Front but also Ataka, he said that it was the first time that two such groups would be in Parliament and this reinforced the idea of the MRF that a clear Euro-Atlantic concept of governance was needed, Mestan said.
“We will defend this concept, irrespective of whether we have a relationship to the government of the country or will be in opposition,” he said.
He also underlined that the Roma vote for his party meant that the MRF would be their voice in Parliament and pointed to the ethnic Bulgarians on his party’s candidate lists as, in his view, a rebuttal of the claim that his is an ethnic party.