Lyutvi Mestan, leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), said on December 26 that unless the nationalist Patriotic Front is excluded from its role in Boiko Borissov’s government, the government was doomed to failure and there would be early parliamentary elections in 2015.
The comment came four days after senior figures in Borissov’s centre-right GERB party, returned to power in October 2014 after early elections, hinted that a new configuration including the MRF could not be ruled out.
The centre-right coalition cabinet formed in early November has Borissov’s GERB as majority partner and the Reformist Bloc as minority partner, with socialist breakaway ABC participating through a separate deal, and the Patriotic Front also providing support.
The MRF, the party led and supported in the main by Bulgarians of Turkish ethnicity and which was a key partner in the 2013/14 ruling axis, is constantly at daggers drawn with the Patriotic Front, whose signature issues include campaigning against, for example, daily afternoon news bulletins in Turkish on Bulgaria’s public broadcaster.
Mestan, speaking on December 26 at a memorial rally to mark the 30th anniversary of the “regeneration process”, when Bulgaria’s communist regime committed gross abuses of human rights as it sought to force Bulgarians of Turkish ethnicity to adopt Slavonic names, called for all parties – other than the Patriotic Front and Ataka – to unite in a common front against xenophobia.
He said that the Reformist Bloc, which had raised the banner of democratic reforms, had teamed up with the Patriotic Front and formed a common front based on revenge against the MRF.
“Reforms are not possible. There is no way to carry out reforms with the Patriotic Front. With retrograde forces, you cannot carry out reforms,” Mestan said.
He described the alliance between the Patriotic Front and the Reformist Bloc as a “deformist bloc” that was deforming democracy in Bulgaria.
On December 23, Roumyana Buchvarova, Deputy Prime Minister for coalition policy and state administration and who was one of three GERB negotiators on the formation of the current coalition, said in a television interview said that the party did not intend conducting new coalition talks, “but everything will depend on the situation in which we find ourselves”.
Constitutionally, there were many possibilities for government, Buchvarova said when asked whether GERB would remain in power at any cost, even with the support of the MRF if any of the current coalition partners withdrew.