Hitrino tragedy: Because of day of national mourning, Bulgarian President postpones handing of mandate to form government
Bulgarian head of state President Rossen Plevneliev has postponed the handing over of an exploratory mandate to form a government that had been scheduled for December 12 because it has been declared a day of national mourning for the victims of the gas transport train explosion in the village of Hitrino.
The mandate-handing will now take place on December 13 at 11am, the President’s office said.
This will be the third and final offer of a mandate to try to form a government in the wake of Boiko Borissov’s resignation as Prime Minister.
The first two mandates were offered to Parliament’s largest party, GERB, and the second-largest, the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party. Both parties declined to accept a mandate.
Plevneliev will now offer a mandate to the centre-right coalition the Reformist Bloc.
In the past week, the bloc held consultations with a number of other parliamentary groups, including GERB and the nationalist Patriotic Front, on the feasibility of trying to put together a government. The Reformist Bloc’s parliamentary group concluded that when offered a mandate by Plevneliev, it would return it immediately.
The refusal of a mandate by the Reformist Bloc will open the way for the next step spelt out in Bulgaria’s constitution, the appointment of a caretaker government.
Plevneliev’s successor as President, Roumen Radev, will take office on January 22 2017. Radev will dissolve Parliament and decree a date for parliamentary elections, expected to be sometime between late March and mid-April 2017.