Bulgaria’s Reformist Bloc has a deadline of December 19 to form a new government, but their acceptance of a mandate to try to do so has been met largely with skepticism.
Within the centre-right coalition, it appears that only one party, the Union of Democratic Forces, has any enthusiasm for the attempt.
Representatives of the bloc accepted the exploratory mandate from head of state President Rossen Plevneliev on the morning of December 13, after the first two mandates were turned down by Parliament’s two largest parties, Boiko Borissov’s GERB and the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party.
The UDF’s Roumen Hristov said that they hoped to persuade Borissov’s GERB to co-operate in forming a new government.
The current political situation is a consequence of Borissov resigning as Prime Minister because his GERB party’s candidate was defeated in Bulgaria’s November 2016 presidential elections.
Hristov said that considering what was happening in the world, it was important to have a stable government in Bulgaria.
By the late afternoon of December 13, there had been no official response from GERB to the Reformist Bloc bid, but in all recent days, the party has indicated that the country is on its way to early parliamentary elections in spring 2017.
Senior GERB MP Dimitar Glavchev told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio, “I suppose there’ll be a conversation, of course. We’ve always spoken with them, so nothing prevents this happening again.”
BSP leader Kornelia Ninova told a December 13 news conference that the Reformist Bloc accepting the mandate was a “waste of time”.
A government within the current Parliament could not be formed, Ninova said.
Georgi Kyuchukov of minority breakaway socialist party ABC said that he was skeptical about the Reformist Bloc being able to form a government.
He said that he had noted that the Reformist Bloc wanted to discuss the matter with Borissov, but Borissov previously had said that he would be Prime Minister only in a government founded by GERB.