Bulgaria’s newly-elected Parliament, the 43rd National Assembly, will hold its first sitting on Monday October 27 at 2pm, head of state President Rossen Plevneliev said on October 15.
Plevneliev made the announcement in a live televised address after consultations with representatives of the eight parties elected to the National Assembly in ahead-of-term elections on October 5.
His announcement came on the third day of consultations initiated by Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB, winner of the largest share of seats in Parliament, with the other seven parties in the National Assembly.
GERB will receive first the offer of a mandate to govern. Borissov is seeking to form a coalition government with a broad base of support in Parliament.
Meetings already have been held with the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, respectively second and third in the elections, which as had been expected resulted in clarity that they would not be part of the government.
First-round talks on October 15, with the centre-right Reformist Bloc, and on October 16 with the nationalist Patriotic Front are seen as particularly crucial because it is these two parties that GERB is likely to seek as partners in government, whatever mutual sniping has been going on ahead of formal talks on a possible coalition deal.
Entering the October 15 talks with Plevneliev, minority parties such as socialist breakaway ABC and ultra-nationalists Ataka called for Parliament to be convened as soon as possible.
It had been expected that the first sitting of the new Parliament would be held later than has been customary after elections in the previous decade, to give time for progress in negotiations on a governing coalition.
Plevneliev said that after the parliamentary groups in the 43rd National Assembly had been formally constituted, he would hand a mandate to seek to form a government to the largest parliamentary group – meaning Borissov’s.
This would be preceded by the consultations envisaged in the constitution. Plevneliev said that these consultations, between him as the head of state and each political party individually, would be held as soon as possible.
Plevneliev expressed hope that the new National Assembly would get off to a strong “flying start” with well-prepared solutions and that after its inauguration, there would not be problems and misunderstandings.
He said that at the October 15 meeting, the priorities for the next Parliament had been discussed.
These included the preparation and adoption of a revised Budget for 2014, the preparation of Budget 2015, ensuring financial stability by coming up with a solution to the Corporate Commercial Bank situation and emergency measures in the energy sector.
Plevneliev pledged to send all parties in Parliament a report containing up-to-date data and parameters on the implementation of the Budget for this year, to enable them to take a responsible decision on the necessary update to the Budget.
He also called for a concerted effort to get more information from central Bulgarian National Bank ahead of an urgent decision on Corpbank.
Plevneliev said that the 43rd National Assembly should begin work by agreeing on a statement of priorities.