Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Kornelia Ninova, whose party is destined for opposition when the forthcoming Boiko Borissov GERB-United Patriots coalition goverment takes office, has described the coalition’s joint governance programme as a “serious retreat” from their election promises.
Ninova was speaking on April 25 after leading a BSP delegation for talks with President Roumen Radev.
The hour-long talks, to which Ninova was accompanied by BSP parliamentary deputy group leaders Anton Kutev, Zhelyo Boychev, Krum Zarkov and Dragomir Stoynev, were part of a series of consultations that Radev was holding ahead of handing GERB leader Boiko Borissov a mandate to seek to form a government.
Addressing reporters after the talks with Radev, Ninova said that the “will of the people” had decided that the BSP would be an opposition party in the 44th National Assembly.
“We discussed our pre-election programme and assured the President that we would be an alternative to the GERB and United Patriots’ governance programme,” Ninova said.
Describing the GERB-United Patriots’ programme as a retreat from their election promises, she highlighted that the nationalists’ pledge of a minimum pension of 300 leva a month would not be fulfilled.
The BSP would be tabling draft bills and amendments that would “100 per cent” fulfil the party’s pre-election commitments, she said.
Ninova said that Radev – elected head of state in November 2016 on a ticket backed by the BSP – had agreed to her party’s proposal to convene a meeting of the Consultative Council on National Security on Bulgaria’s demographic crisis. Radev would decide when this meeting (of a body that brings together key cabinet ministers, security and intelligence chiefs and representatives of all parties in Parliament) would be held.
In Bulgaria’s March parliamentary elections, the BSP won 80 out of 240 seats, to make it the second-largest party after Borissov’s GERB, which has 95 seats.
Together, GERB and the United Patriots have 122 seats, just enough to get a government voted into office. It is expected that the coalition government will be put to the National Assembly for approval on May 4. Vesselin Mareshki’s Volya party, the smallest in Parliament, has said that it will add its votes to those in favour of approving the entry into office of the third Borissov cabinet.