The draft coalition government agreement between Boiko Borissov’s GERB party and the nationalist United Patriots will be ready on April 21, negotiators from the two political forces told reporters on Thursday.
The announcement was made after a few hours of talks on April 20, during which “significant progress” was made, GERB negotiator Delyan Dobrev said.
In the March 26 early parliamentary elections, GERB won 95 of the 240 seats in the National Assembly and the United Patriots won 27, giving the two parliamentary groups just enough to rally votes in Parliament to vote a government into office.
The April 20 negotiations, held in the National Assembly, took place a day after the first sitting of Parliament and in the week after the parties made public their governance policy programme. That document underlined that the intention is for the new government to serve out a full four-year term.
Thursday’s talks covered the structure of the agreement and the method for decision-making and there were no divergences, according to participants in the talks. However, the two sides declined to disclose what the method of decision-making would be.
“We will continue with the negotiations until we reach full agreement on the document, we can not state further details,” said Dobrev, flanked by United Patriots co-leader and Ataka party leader Volen Siderov.
It is expected that the coalition government agreement will be signed on April 24. This will be followed by negotiations on the allocation of cabinet portfolios.
The Thursday negotiations were attended, on the United Patriots side, by Siderov, Krassimir Karakachanov and Valeri Simeonov – the far-right coalition’s three co-leaders, and representing GERB, Dobrev, parliamentary group leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov, former finance minister Vladislav Goranov. Tomislav Donchev, former deputy prime minister in charge of EU funds, joined the talks in their latter stages.
Current estimates are that the vote on the government will take place in the National Assembly on May 4. President Roumen Radev said on April 19 that he would hand GERB a mandate to seek to form a government next week, but did not specify on which day he would do this.