Bulgaria’s nationalist parliamentary group the Patriotic Front will support the Reformist Bloc if – as expected – the bloc is handed an exploratory mandate to try to form a government.
This emerged after talks between leaders of the Patriotic Front and the Reformist Bloc on December 8.
Head of state President Rossen Plevneliev is scheduled to offer the Reformist Bloc an exploratory mandate on December 12, in the third and final round of mandate-offering following the resignation in November of Boiko Borissov’s government.
The first two were offered to Borissov’s GERB party and to the Bulgarian Socialist Party. Both declined.
Patriotic Front co-leader Valeri Simeonov said after the December 8 talks that the two groups were united behind the goal to prevent a scenario of a succession of caretaker governments and a parliamentary crisis.
“We come out united around the goal to prevent a succession of governments and accordingly, a parliamentary crisis, because we believe that Bulgaria needs stability, rather than the endless limbo, chaos, caretaker governments, that the BSP has insisted on. We absolutely will support the mandate, on condition of certain adjustments in the governance programme,” Simeonov said.
He issued a reminder that for the Patriotic Front, the priorities are increasing pensions, solving the issue of border security and the flow of migrants, continuing reforms in the economy and the energy sector, the fight against petty crime and improving the climate for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Reformist Bloc’s Petar Moskov said that these were preliminary discussions intended to establish whether there could be a sustainable majority in Parliament united around certain policies.
On the basis of these consultations, the bloc would decide whether to accept or return the mandate to be offered to it on December 12.
The Reformist Bloc saw no other possible format for a government than the current majority and categorically ruled out a cabinet in which the BSP and Movement for Rights and Freedoms participated.
Moskov acknowledged that his personal opinion was skepticism about whether such a formula could be achieved. In the absence of forming a majority, it would be better to go to early parliamentary elections, he said.
To form a majority, the bloc would need the support of Borissov’s GERB party.
The bloc held talks with GERB on December 7, which produced nothing more than an agreement to talk again when the bloc is offered a mandate.
On December 8, senior GERB MP Dessislava Atanassova said that the party held that in the current Parliament, there could be no sustainable majority to support a government.
It would be “politically correct” to participate in talks if invited, when the bloc is offered a mandate.
“But for us it is definitely clear that in the 43rd National Assembly there cannot be a sustainable, workable and stable majority that will support a government. And secondly, if we want to form a government, we would have to do so with a GERB mandate,” Atanassova said.