The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) will accept an invitation to second-round talks with election winner GERB on a future government, but for now the party plans to remain in opposition, BSP leader Mihail Mikov said on October 21.
A day earlier, GERB leader Boiko Borissov, speaking after the conclusion of his party’s first-round talks with all but one of the other parties and coalitions elected to the next Parliament, said that there would be second-round talks with four: the Reformist Bloc, the BSP, the nationalist Patriotic Front and Georgi Purvanov’s ABC.
GERB won 84 out of 240 seats in the National Assembly, Bulgaria’s unicameral Parliament, at the October 5 early parliamentary elections. Borissov is working on forming a coalition government with as broad support in Parliament as possible.
Mikov told a news conference that the dialogue between the two parties would continue, but for now the party plans to stay in opposition.
The BSP would not make concessions on the 12 “red lines” set out in the programme.
These include the introduction of progressive income tax, family taxation, “re-industrialisation” of Bulgaria and the implementation of energy projects – meaning the Belene nuclear power station project (shut down by the GERB government) and the South Stream gas pipeline project.
“We will continue to maintain the positions that won us the trust of voters,” said Mikov, whose party ran a poor second on October 5 and will have 39 seats in the National Assembly.
At first-round talks on October 13, teams of negotiators from GERB and the BSP found agreement on only four out of 18 points in GERB’s programme for governance.