Bulgaria’s coalition drama: Borissov ‘worried’ about chance of stable government

Talks on October 26 between GERB leader Boiko Borissov and Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Mihail Mikov produced confirmation that the BSP would be in opposition and left Borissov expressing concern about the chances of forming a stable government.

If the process of seeking to form a stable government failed, Borissov would put together a “programme” cabinet made up of experts from all parties, with a limited term of office, and then take the country into fresh parliamentary elections, perhaps on July 1 2015, he told reporters.

During the Sunday morning meeting, second-round talks between GERB and the BSP, Borissov offered Mikov the post of Speaker of the 43rd National Assembly – a post that had been earmarked for Tsetska Tsacheva, who was Parliament’s presiding office in the 41st National Assembly before being succeeded by Mikov in the 42nd.

Mikov said that he appreciated GERB’s position, but believe that the BSP should remain in opposition although it would be responsible in seeking serious solutions to the country’s problems.

Borissov said that in the current situation, he was even more worried about the creation of a stable government.

He referred to the tensions within the centre-right Reformist Bloc, which had been seen as the most natural coalition partner for GERB, but Borissov said that this tension was discouraging the participation of other parties in a future government.

In the three weeks since Bulgaria’s October 5 ahead-of-term elections, which resulted in GERB winning the largest share of seats in Parliament – 84 out of 240 – Borissov has spoken alternately of seeking to form a minority or coalition government.

He had said before the elections that unless he won a minimum of more than half the seats in the National Assembly, he would not even try to form a government.

On October 26, the eve of the first sitting of the new National Assembly, Borissov said that he proposed that at the beginning of the week the leaders of all parties represented in Parliament should meet to discuss the way ahead, including the possibility of new elections.

After the elections, GERB held first-round talks with six out of the seven other parties in Parliament. Although invited, the absentee was Ataka.

On October 20, GERB said that it would hold second-round talks with four parties or coalitions: the Reformist Bloc, the BSP, nationalists the Patriotic Front and Georgi Purvanov’s socialist breakaway ABC.

While progress was reported in talks with the Reformist Bloc and the Patriotic Front said it would support a cabinet into which it might send “experts” but would not send politicians, prospects of a broad coalition government effectively, for now, have evaporated.

With most parties apparent reluctant to take up Borissov’s proposal of parties “sharing responsibility” but having seats in government, the GERB leader spoke of having a government headed by a “clerk” and having a limited term of office.

Borissov said that if a government with shared responsibility among parties could not be formed, “it would be better for everyone if we just formed a temporary technocratic cabinet and agree on a new date for parliamentary elections, July 1 2015, for example, so that we can have two-in-one elections – parliamentary and municipal elections, in order to save money from organising two elections in one year; and we should stop with the political talks.

“I am ready to sign a shared programme with any of the political parties, but this would not have any legal, moral, or any other type of value,” Borissov said, but added that any party would be able to find a reason to walk away from such an agreement at a moment’s notice.



The Sofia Globe staff

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