Bulgaria’s Reformist Bloc: GERB’s proposed government should include Patriotic Front

Soon after GERB leader Boiko Borissov said that the only option to him was to form a minority government with his party and the Reformist Bloc, Radan Kanev said that the bloc believed that a government should be formed that includes the Patriotic Front.

Borissov, speaking after an October 28 meeting of leaders of seven out of eight of the parties in the 43rd National Assembly, said that he believed that the only option he had was to form a GERB-Reformist Bloc minority government that would serve a full four-year term.

Borissov’s GERB won 84 out of 240 seats in Bulgaria’s National Assembly on October 5 and has been involved in rounds of talks with other parties on various options for forming a government.

On October 28, Borissov – who appeared at an impromptu news conference accompanied by Reformist Bloc parliamentary group co-leader Meglena Kouneva – said that the bloc was to decide on participating in the proposed government.

GERB’s hopes are that a deal could be agreed on by October 31.

After the “leaders meeting” in the National Assembly building, GERB announced that its executive committee had approved the possibility of the party signing an agreement between GERB and the Reformist Bloc.

GERB mandated Tsetska Tsacheva (the senior GERB member elected on October 27 as Speaker of the National Assembly and who has led the GERB negotiating team on possible coalition formats), Roumyana Buchvarova and Menda Stoyanova – also of the negotiating team – and GERB MEP Tomislav Donchev to prepare a draft agreement with the Reformist Bloc, including the overall programme structure and composition of the government, GERB said.

The Reformist Bloc’s other parliamentary group co-leader, Kanev, said that the bloc supported efforts to form a tripartite majority government made up of GERB, the Reformist Bloc and the Patriotic Front.

The nationalist Patriotic Front is a coalition made up of Valeri Simeonov’s National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria and Krassimir Karakachanov’s VMRO.

Kanev said that the October 28 meeting could have only advisory status.

To achieve a majority, it was necessary that there be meetings both with GERB and the Patriotic Front, Bulgarian National Radio reported Kanev as saying.

He said that based on discussions held on October 27 before the opening of the 43rd National Assembly, the bloc considered it appropriate that as soon as possible there should be a tripartite GERB-Reformist Bloc-Patriotic Front meeting.

Kanev, asked why the “leaders meeting” on October 28 had been attended only by Kouneva on behalf of the bloc while he had not been there, said that the group had two co-chairpersons but the functions could be performed by one. They had full confidence in each other.

“Ms Kouneva was authorised to represent the bloc at today’s meeting, at others it will be, at a third it will probably be one of the deputy chairpersons, because we are busy people,” Kanev said.

Also speaking after the “leaders meeting”, Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Mihail Mikov said that it was obvious that a majority should be formed in the 43rd National Assembly, and the majority, as decided by the voters, seemed to be a centre-right one.

Asked whether the government would be stable, Mihov said that nothing would be clear until it actually happened.

A lot depended on what the government would do for people, as to whether people would support the policies and actions of such a government, the BSP leader said.

Movement for Rights and Freedoms leader Lyutvi Mestan said that his party was ready to provide support to the government for its first 300 days in office.

“We said yesterday that we cannot be opposed to our own platform. If in the government programme there are topics covered in our platform, we cannot be opposed to our own platform,” Mestan said.

He repeated that the MRF would not “be in alliance to national populism”, an apparent reference to the possible participation of the Patriotic Front in government.

Mestan said that today was the first time a clear proposal for the formation of a government had been heard.

“We expect clarification of this proposal together with the governance programme,” he said.

Patriotic Front co-leader Simeonov said that his coalition was ready to provide “experts” if they were wanted for the government.

“It is important that we start pulling Bulgaria out of this crisis. What is decisive is how much the programmes coincide. If a programme which we will all sign is drawn up, we will back the government that is to implement it,” Simeonov said after the “leaders meeting”.

“We have always spoken about support for a programme, preparation of a programme. We will, respectively, strive for participation of our points, our priorities in the programme,” he said.

He said that the coalition would co-ordinate programmes with GERB and most Patriotic Front members would support it.
“We are responsible people. Our voters elected us to implement our programme,” Simeonov said.



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292