Bulgarian centre-right GERB party leader Boiko Borissov and nationalist United Patriots co-leader Valeri Simeonov announced on April 13 that the two political formations had agreed on a 21-page governance policy programme for the coalition government they will form.
The programme is intended to be implemented by a coalition government that will serve a full four-year term.
The negotiations on the policies of the future government were a sequel to the March 26 parliamentary elections, and began on April 4, concluding on the evening of April 12.
Borissov and Simeonov, flanked by senior members of their political groups, announced the agreement on policies in brief remarks, without taking questions from reporters.
Borissov, who thanked those who participated in the negotiations, said that the full governance programme would be posted on the websites of the parties involved in the coalition government.
He reiterated that a coalition government involving his party, the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms would be impossible.
Borissov said that his party had “retreated” in the face of demands on minimum pension scales put by the United Patriots, while “they retreated on other things”.
Simeonov, who spoke before Borissov, said: “We commit ourselves to implement the programme within this administration”.
Negotiations on membership of the coalition cabinet would begin after the four-day Easter weekend, Borissov said.
It has previously been announced that Borissov will be prime minister in the new cabinet, the third time he will head Bulgaria’s government, after previous terms – both curtailed – starting, respectively, in 2009 and 2014.
Several GERB members of the 2014/17 coalition cabinet are expected to return to their posts, while the United Patriots are expected to get about five cabinet posts, including a deputy prime ministership.
The National Assembly will hold its first sitting on April 19. In the new legislature, which has 240 members, GERB has 95 MPs and the United Patriots – a tripartite coalition of Krassimir Karakachanov’s VMRO, Simeonov’s National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria and Volen Siderov’s Ataka – has 27, just sufficient to get a government voted into office.