GERB, United Patriots to meet again for coalition government talks next week
The three leaders of Bulgaria’s nationalist United Patriots met the leadership of Boiko Borissov’s GERB party for an hour on March 31, with it emerging after the meeting that further talks on the formation of a coalition government would be held at the start of next week.
Krassimir Karakachanov, Valeri Simeonov and Volen Siderov arrived at GERB headquarters in Sofia on the morning after Borissov returned from a European People’s Party meeting in Malta.
Emerging from the meeting, Karakachanov said that it had been a “very general post-election conversation, about priorities”. He declined to comment further.
Siderov said that he would prefer negotiations to conclude quickly. “If things do not come together, there will be elections again, or whatever”.
The Ataka leader said that if consensus could be reached, “if we are ready to act and to reach an understanding, each with his own compromises, then the timeframe will be shortened. It is good if it does not drag on.”
Asked when the National Assembly would hold its first sitting, Siderov said that this was a matter for the President. “I suppose that he will not delay and he will wait for negotiations to be completed”.
Siderov, asked whether he would support Borissov becoming Prime Minister, said: “I am ready to help everyone who needs my help”.
In Bulgaria’s March 26 2017 early parliamentary elections, Borissov’s centre-right party won 95 of the 240 seats in the National Assembly, the largest share of the vote but insufficient to govern without forming a coalition.
The United Patriots have 27 seats, which in combination with GERB would create a slim majority of 122. If Vesselin Mareshki’s Volya party is involved in a deal, that would add the party’s 12 MPs.
In an interview with public radio on March 30, Mareshki said that his party could participate in a coalition agreement only if it had seats in the cabinet, not just playing the role of lending support in the National Assembly.