Joined by some MPs from the centre-right Reformist Bloc coalition and other political parties, Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria leader Radan Kanev announced on January 25 the founding of the “New Republic” (Нова република) right-wing cross-party platform.
The founding of the platform comes at Bulgaria heads towards early parliamentary elections to be held on March 26 2017.
Kanev led his right-wing DSB party into opposition in late 2015, distancing it from the Reformist Bloc’s participation in GERB leader Boiko Borissov’s coalition government. The DSB departure was prompted by the resignation of Reformist Bloc minister Hristo Ivanov from the justice portfolio in the cabinet, in protest against what he saw as the inadequate form of constitutional amendments billed as furthering judicial reform.
The announcement of the new platform was attended by, among others, Traicho Traikov, a former energy and economy minister in Borissov’s first government and the Reformist Bloc’s candidate in Bulgaria’s November 2016 presidential elections.
Others attending included Martin Dimitrov, a former leader of the centrist Union for Democratic Forces and currently a Reformist Bloc MP in the outgoing Parliament, and fellow bloc MP Petar Slavov.
The New Republic platform hopes to attract the participation of Ivanov, who recently founded the Yes Bulgaria party on a platform of action against corruption and achievement of judicial reform.
Kanev said that those involved in the new platform had clearly rejected the option of participating in elections with the Reformist Bloc. “We are not the junior partner, the pebble in the shoe and the thorn in the side…we are a real alternative to GERB. People want a very big change,” he said.
“We are the guarantor against a GERB-Bulgarian Socialist Party coalition,” Kanev said.
There has been repeated speculation that after the March parliamentary election, rivals GERB and the BSP will form a coalition government. This speculation has been repeatedly and vehemently rejected by both parties.
“On the political terrain, now there is a black sheep against the fixed match,” Kanev said.