Valeri Simeonov’s National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria (NFSB) has suspended negotiations with Krassimir Karakachanov’s VMRO on standing jointly in Bulgaria’s May 2019 European Parliament elections.
This is the latest breakdown within the United Patriots coalition, the grouping of three far-right and ultra-nationalist parties that is the minority partner in Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s government.
The leader of the third party, Ataka’s Volen Siderov, earlier declined to take part in the talks on standing together in the European Parliament elections.
In a media statement, the NFSB complained that it had been the subject of media attacks by the VMRO which Simeonov’s party said that had been “wrapped up in fake concern for the future of the (United Patriots) coalition”.
Simeonov’s party said that these attacks had been over issues included the selection of a new fighter jet for the Bulgarian Air Force, the question of the acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship and the issue of Bulgaria’s Roma minority.
The NFSB statement asked if these attacks were not successive steps in the direction of the VMRO standing alone in the election or standing with another party, “and if so, would it not be more proper and normal for there to be disclosure, so that there is no drama about it”.
Simeonov said that it did not matter for his party who would head the candidates list for the European Parliament elections.
There have been statements and reports in recent months that Siderov wants to head the list of candidates for the European Parliament, though in recent days he has denied this.
The more reliable recent opinion polls in Bulgaria suggest that should the United Patriots not stand together in the May European Parliament elections, the individual parties would have scant chance of winning any seats in the EU’s legislature.