Reformist Bloc to state stance on cabinet participation on November 4
The parliamentary group of Bulgaria’s centre-right minority coalition the Reformist Bloc met on November 3 to decide its proposal on possible participation in a coalition government led by Boiko Borissov’s GERB, winner of the October 5 early elections.
It is expected that the Reformist Bloc will present its proposals on the cabinet to GERB on November 4, the deadline given to the bloc by GERB negotiators.
Although there was no formal meeting scheduled for November 3 between GERB and Reformist Bloc negotiators, it is understood there were unofficial contacts between the two sides.
GERB hopes to form a GERB-Reformist Bloc coalition cabinet, possibly supported in individual votes by the minority nationalist Patriotic Front coalition and Georgi Purvanov’s socialist breakaway ABC.
On November 3, head of state President Rossen Plevneliev continued his series of consultations with all parties elected to the new National Assembly. These consultations are required by the constitution ahead of the President offering the largest party in Parliament a mandate to seek to govern.
Should the first party fail to come up with an electable government, the mandate passes to the second-largest party (in the case of the current Parliament, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, which has said it will not try) and after that, to a minority party of the President’s choice.
Speaking after a two-hour meeting between Plevneliev and representatives of the nationalist Patriotic Front, which has 19 seats in the 240-Parliament, Front co-leader Krassimir Karakachanov said that if the first two parties failed, the Patriotic Front was prepared to accept a mandate to try to form a government.
On the morning of November 3, Plevneliev received representatives of the “Bulgarian Democratic Centre” as the parliamentary group of the populist Bulgaria Without Censorship (BWC) now calls itself.
This group said that it had not yet made up its mind whether to vote in favour of a GERB-led government. This would depend on the proposed government’s programme and priorities. The BWC group said that for it, fresh elections were “not the best solution”.
Plevneliev’s consultations are to continue on November 4 with separate meetings with the Reformist Bloc and with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. On November 5, Plevneliev will meet GERB, and plans are that on the following day, he will hand Borissov a mandate to seek to form a government.
Negotiators from GERB and the Reformist Bloc met for more than five hours on November 2.
This produced a draft agreement on the programme of a future government, covering issues including foreign policy, justice, the economy and growth, public finance, EU funds, changes to public procurement legislation, e-government and state administration, education and science, social policy, health care, energy, transport and infrastructure, regional policy, agriculture and forestry, environment and environmental protection, disaster risk control and prevention, culture, improving public environment and defence, and security and public order.
GERB and Reformist Bloc negotiators said after the November 2 meeting that they had not discussed cabinet posts.
(Main photo, of Reformist Bloc constituent party leaders Bozhidar Lukarski, Radan Kanev and Meglena Kouneva: Facebook page of the Reformist Bloc)