Bulgarian PM Borissov defers question of resignation until after presidential election runoff
At an impromptu news conference in the first minutes of November 7, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said that the question of whether his government would resign would wait until November 14, after the second round of the country’s presidential elections.
Borissov, accompanied by his GERB party’s presidential candidate Tsetska Tsacheva and several senior GERB members and Cabinet ministers, was speaking at his party’s headquarters a few hours after exit polls showed that Tsacheva had narrowly run second to the candidate backed by the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, Roumen Radev.
This raised questions about whether Borissov would follow through on previous statements about his government resigning if GERB did not score victory at the first round. Borissov has modified the conditionalities of this pledge in the past week.
This time around, he told reporters of his view that GERB had done the best, on the technicality that Radev had been nominated by an initiative committee, not by the BSP in that party’s own name.
GERB had a real chance of winning the November 13 second round, Borissov said.
As some GERB Cabinet ministers had insisted a few hours earlier, Borissov insisted that the results of the first round were not yet final and official.
Borissov took sideswipes at his government’s coalition partners, the Reformist Bloc (whose candidate, Traicho Traikov, placed fifth with about seven per cent of the vote), with Borissov saying he was “surprised” by the bloc’s result and had “expected more”. He added that some of the bloc’s supporters, which he indicated he believed came from its opposition faction, had voted for Radev.
Asked about possibly reformatting the Cabinet in the light of the first-round results, in which the nationalist United Patriots’ candidate Krassimir Karakachanov came third, Borissov again took sideswipes at his Patriotic Front partners, portraying them as militants in particular for their hard-line against Turkey.
Pressed on the issue of his possible resignation, Borissov closed off the news conference with a bitter ironic parting shot that Monday of the week after next, he “would resign” and that this would open the way for another “Oresharski” government, a reference to the administration of 2013/14 that took office following early elections prompted by Borissov’s resignation back then, and was brought down after prolonged public protests against it.