Sofia City Court approved on January 30 the registration of Hristo Ivanov’s Yes Bulgaria (Да, България!) as a political party.
The application was lodged by Ivanov, a former justice minister whose party stands on a platform dedicated to judicial reform and against corruption, on January 13, and comes as Bulgaria heads to early parliamentary elections on March 26 2017.
The court noted that the Yes Bulgaria party had gathered more than 2500 signatures in support of its petition for registration, well more than the minimum 500 required by law.
The prosecutor in the court proceedings, Yavor Dimitrov, lodged no objection to the registration, saying that there was no contradiction to the law.
By law, prosecutors now have seven days as of January 30 to appeal against the objection in the supreme court.
Speaking to journalists, Ivanov said that Yes Bulgaria would stand independently in the March 26 early parliamentary elections. Depending on the parties that won seats in the next National Assembly, he would initiate talks on forming a group against corruption.
This could include any MP who recognised the fight against corruption in Bulgaria as a top priority.
Asked about the possibility of Yes Bulgaria co-operating with Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party, Kornelia Ninova’s Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms headed by Mustafa Karadaya, Ivanov said that these parties bore the primary blame for Bulgaria being in the grip of corruption.
If any MP from those parties wanted to co-operate with Yes Bulgaria, they would have to break with party tradition, Ivanov said.
Ivanov was justice minister in Borissov’s second government, formed in November 2014 with the Reformist Bloc as one of the coalition partners. Nominated by the bloc to serve in the cabinet, Ivanov already had held the justice portfolio in the August 2014 Bliznashki caretaker cabinet.
Ivanov resigned from the Borissov cabinet in November 2015 in protest against the inadequate form of constitutional amendments billed as furthering judicial reform.