Former parliamentary leader of Bulgarian PM’s GERB confirms he will found his own party

Tsvetan Tsvetanov, the former parliamentary leader of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party and who was Interior Minister in the first of Borissov’s three governments, confirmed in a June 27 television interview that he intended founding his own political party in September.

Tsvetanov resigned from all leadership posts in GERB in May 2019 after an earlier announcement by the anti-corruption commission that he was being investigated in connection with an alleged cut-price apartment deal. A subsequent investigation cleared him.

In September 2019, he founded the Euro-Atlantic Security Center, an NGO working on key issues in the security sector.

Earlier in June 2020, Tsvetanov resigned his membership of GERB.

Speaking in an interview with bTV, Tsvetanov said that the new party, possible names of which are still being discussed, would participate in Bulgaria’s parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in 2021.

Tsvetanov said that he had decided to go ahead with founding his own political party after getting huge backing from his supporters for his decision to leave Borissov’s party.

He said that his relations with Borissov were “none”. He had received birthday and Easter greetings from Borissov, and had sent Borissov a text message on the Prime Minister’s recent birthday “because when I called him, he didn’t pick up the phone”.

Tsvetanov said that during his meetings with people from the party who had supported GERB since 2006, he had the impression they no longer trusted the party.

“There is inconsistency and chaos in the government,” he said.

Legislative changes were being made that were not fit for purpose, such as the idea to set up a state fuel company. Implementing such a project would set Bulgaria back 20 years because of the lack of market principles, he said.

An Alpha Research poll, the results of which were released in May 2020, showed that at that point, GERB was well in the lead, with 20.8 per cent, with a weakened opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party having only 12.2 per cent support.

In third place at the time was the political party of television showman Slavi Trifonov, at 9.1 per cent, followed by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms at 6.4 per cent. Close to the four per cent threshold for seats in the National Assembly were the ultra-nationalists VMRO-NFSB, at 3.9 per cent, and Democratic Bulgaria, at 3.7 per cent.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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