Bulgaria’s coalition drama: Reformist Bloc sees Patriotic Front as ‘acceptable’ partner

The Reformist Bloc sees the best possible government for Bulgaria as a centre-right coalition and sees the nationalist Patriotic Front as an acceptable partner in such a coalition, according to the bloc’s Naiden Zelenogorski.

He was speaking after a meeting of the bloc’s parliamentary group on October 22, which took place a day after Reformist Bloc leaders held a meeting of more than two hours with GERB leader Boiko Borissov and negotiators from Borissov’s party.

GERB, winner of the most seats in the newly-elected 43rd National Assembly, is seeking to get a coalition government into place with as broad as possible support in the new Parliament.

Borissov said earlier this week that GERB wanted to hold second-round talks on a future government with the Reformist Bloc, Bulgarian Socialist Party, Patriotic Front and Georgi Purvanov’s ABC.

Three other parties in the new Parliament – the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Bulgaria Without Censorship and ultra-nationalist Ataka – have been eliminated from consideration by GERB as possible partners.

Zelenogorski, asked about the Patriotic Front – which at first-round talks provisionally indicated support for a GERB government – said that “much more brings us together than divides us and for us, the Patriotic Front as a coalition partner in a centre-right government is an acceptable option”.

In the new Parliament, GERB has 84 seats, the Reformist Bloc 23 and the Patriotic Front 19. That adds up to 126 out of the National Assembly’s 240 seats.

Korman Ismailov, leader of a Reformist Bloc constituent party that had been outspoken against co-operation with a party such as the Patriotic Front, seeing it as xenophobic and ultra-nationalist, indicated that there would be talks with the Patriotic Front.

“We will do our best to get a guarantee to achieve a stable pro-European, pro-Euro-Atlantic majority,” Ismailov said.

As to Purvanov’s ABC, which will have 11 seats, Zelenogorski said that there would be no problem provided that ABC supported certain policies “but for us a coalition should be a centre-right one”.

Bozhidar Lukarski, leader of the Union of Democratic Forces, also a constituent party of the Reformist Bloc, predicted that there could be a government by the end of next week.

After the talks between Reformist Bloc and GERB leaders on the night of October 21, GERB negotiator Roumyana Buchvarova said that the two sides had clarified their positions to each other and said that talks would continue at “expert” level.

Radan Kanev, leader of the Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria, another Reformist Bloc constitutent party, said that progress had been achieved but the bloc would await the outcome of GERB’s consultations with other parties and coalitions.

On October 22, GERB and the BSP were in communication discussing a meeting.

With the National Assembly scheduled to hold its first meeting on Monday October 27 at 2pm, Borissov has said that he wants to be able to report back to the GERB national council at 11am that day on the outcome of second-round talks on a government.

Related stories:

Bulgarian Socialist Party to accept invitation to second-round talks with GERB on government

Bulgarian coalition drama: GERB to hold further talks with Reformist Bloc, BSP, Patriotic Front and ABC

GERB concludes first round of talks on possible governing coalition

GERB abandons coalition co-operation talks with Bulgaria Without Censorship

Borissov: We will not accept a coalition that is ‘anti’ other parties

Bulgaria’s nationalist Patriotic Front to support Borissov cabinet

Question mark over future of GERB-Reformist Bloc talks as Borissov’s party heads for meeting with Patriotic Front

Bulgaria’s coalition talks drama: GERB, Reformist Bloc marathon meeting ends without agreement

GERB will not accept MRF support for single-party minority government

‘Constructive’ talks leave GERB, BSP divided on key issues

Bulgaria’s GERB begins formal negotiations on coalition government



The Sofia Globe staff

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