Borissov: Trifonov, refusing to form government, is a political coward

Outgoing Bulgarian Prime Minister and GERB party leader said Boiko Borissov on April 26 that Slavi Trifonov was a “political coward” in refusing to seek to get a government approved by Parliament.

Earlier on Monday, a post on the Facebook page of Trifonov, the cable television presenter whose ITN party won the second-largest share of seats in Bulgaria’s April 4 parliamentary elections, said that he would nominate chess champion Antoaneta Stefanova as Prime Minister but she would immediately return a mandate to seek to form a government.

Borissov, whose party on April 23 returned its mandate to seek to form a government, called to Trifonov to explain why he could not govern with 165 MPs.

Trifonov’s party won 51 seats in Bulgaria’s 240-seat National Assembly. Borissov was referring to the combined total of all parliamentary groups opposed to his own GERB and which have indicated that they would vote in favour of a government nominated by Trifonov’s ITN.

Borissov has offered to supply votes from his own GERB group to vote a government nominated by Trifonov into office.

“That is what you call a ‘political coward’,” Borissov said.

“A coward is someone who, with 165 MPs who have expressed their support, says that they are not enough for him and he needs 240,” he said.

“With all due respect to Antoaneta Stefanova – if she is Prime Minister, will she go to ask MP Trifonov about anything?”

Borissov said that a month had passed since the regular elections and the ruling party continued to act as the opposition.

“Obviously that is easier in Bulgaria. We have become accustomed to behaving responsibly over the years.”

“What will happen in the coming months? More than 50 million (leva) will be spent on elections again. Instead of giving this money to the people, we will seek an absolute majority for someone,” Borissov said.

Borissov tabled his government’s resignation in the National Assembly on April 15, when the newly-elected legislature held its first sitting.

MPs voted on April 16 to approve the government’s resignation, against the objections of GERB which said that this was procedurally inappropriate.

If Trifonov holds to his April 26 statement and thus the second attempt at forming a government fail, the mandate to seek to form a government goes to a minority parliamentary group of the President’s choice.

If no agreement on forming a government is reached, the President appoints a caretaker government, dissolves the National Assembly and schedules new elections on a date two months hence.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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