A succession of talks was held on November 20, first between Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and leaders of the governing coalition, and then by minority partner the United Patriots, on the way ahead after the resignation of Valeri Simeonov as deputy prime minister.
After several hours of talks, by the early evening it was not officially clear which of the reported options would be followed – an appointment of a successor to Simeonov, or proceeding with three deputy prime ministers while shutting down the post that he had held.
Emerging from the United Patriots talks, Ataka leader Volen Siderov said that he did not see any occasion for statements after the meeting.
The coalition remained in place and the contradictions within the United Patriots had been overcome, according to Siderov. “Everything is fine, everything is wonderful,” he said.
Siderov said that the name of the new deputy prime minister whom the United Patriots would nominate in place of Simeonov would be announced by the Prime Minister.
Simeonov resigned on November 16, a month to the day after he made offensive comments against protesting mothers of children with disabilities, that led them to hold continuing protests demanding that he quit the government.
Over the weekend, Siderov – who had described Simeonov’s resignation as “belated” – said that Krassimir Karakachanov, one of the three co-leaders of the United Patriots, with Siderov and Simeonov, also should resign his deputy prime minister’s seat. Subsequently, Siderov said that he did not mean by this that the United Patriots should quit the governing coalition.
(Archive photo: Siderov, Simeonov and Borissov in April 2017, at the time of finalising the agreement on the coalition that would come to power as the third Borissov government)