Back in power as PM, Bulgaria’s Borissov shrugs off opposition criticism

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, back as head of his country’s government for the third time, has dismissed opposition criticism during the May 4 parliamentary debate on the election of government.

“The only thing that interests me is people’s expectations,” the leader of the centre-right GERB party told reporters soon after being sworn as Prime Minister.

This time around, Borissov is heading a cabinet based on a coalition government deal between GERB and the United Patriots, a group of nationalist and far-right parties.

He rejected the Bulgarian Socialist Party’s view that all that interested GERB was the struggle for power.

“We have clearly said with whom we can and cannot govern. In this situation, there were two options. New parliamentary elections in a few months,” according to Borissov, who has co-signed the coalition government pledge to serve a full four-year term.

“I sincerely apologise to the BSP colleagues for defeating them,” said Borissov, whose party won the largest share of seats in Parliament in the March elections, 95 out of 240.

“The BSP has no right to say that we are fighting for power. They should lay their hand on their heart and say that I gave them all the power on a platter by resigning, and the opportunity to form a government,” he said.

Responding to criticism from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which underlined that it was voting against his government because of the presence in it of ultra-nationalists, Borissov called on them to be calm.

He said that throughout the years, his governments had a good attitude towards Bulgarian Muslims in ethnically-mixed areas, even “privileging” them.

“To them I can say, be calm, because ethnic peace is most important in governing. I will maintain that. I have put myself in this situation, either to govern in this way with the United Patriots, or for there to be severe political instability in Bulgaria,” Borissov said.

“If we must serve the state, we must do so now, in spite of the difficulties.”

“I want to address the MRF. They too, if they put their hand on their hand, they will admit that in all my years in government, we had not only a good attitude towards the so-called mixed areas, there was even a privileged attitude – we built roads, ritual homes, water supply, sewerage…I can tell them to be calm, because the most important thing about governance is ethnic peace,” Borissov said.




The Sofia Globe staff

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