Bulgaria’s outgoing Prime Minister and GERB party leader Boiko Borissov said on May 3 that the country’s next parliamentary elections would not produce a government and would mean only spending tens of millions of leva on a “meaningless race”.
Bulgaria appears set for new parliamentary elections as the process of the head of state offering a succession of three mandates to form a government is running its course with no prospect of a result.
Borissov’s party, which got the largest share of votes on April 4, returned the first mandate, and cable television presenter Slavi Trifonov’s ITN, which ran second, did the same. President Roumen Radev has said he will offer the third mandate to Kornelia Ninova’s Bulgarian Socialist Party on May 5. The BSP has decided to return it immediately.
According to the constitution, in the absence of the National Assembly voting a government into office, the President must dissolve the legislature, appoint a caretaker government and set a date for new parliamentary elections two months hence from Parliament being dissolved.
“Even after the new parliamentary elections, no government will be formed. And that’s the goal. An infinite and uncontrolled government of Roumen Radev, guaranteed by his political tool, MP Stanislav Trifonov,” Borissov said, using Trifonov’s given first name.
Borissov said that the “champions of criticism” would campaign against GERB, but would conceal “their most important task”, to ensure Radev’s sole grasp of power.
Borissov lashed out at the way in which the amendments to the Electoral Code were approved by the National Assembly, without public consultation and with truncated deadlines.
“They handed over the CEC (Central Election Commission) to Roumen Radev and introduced 100 per cent machine voting – without methodology, without criteria, without security guarantees,” he said.
“All of Europe is refusing machines, and we are introducing them. And we will buy them from a country, an example of undemocracy,” Borissov said.
He said that he suspected that MPs, in particular those from Democratic Bulgaria, had made the changes to the Electoral Code so that one company, from Venezuela, would win the tender to supply the required quantity of voting machines.
Outgoing Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said that the fact that on April 4 (when voters had a choice between paper ballots and voting machines) 24 per cent of people voters voted with machines “means that people do not believe in this type of voting”.
“Aren’t they worried about the fact that we are buying machines from Venezuela, where the government and militias are killing their own citizens with snipers while they are protesting?” Zaharieva said.
“These people have no idea how the elections abroad are organised and what it costs,” she said.
Borissov said that in the presidential election in the autumn, he would not be GERB’s candidate.
He said that the GERB candidate would be someone “intelligent, handsome, experienced, accepted in the West, with good relations with the East – profoundly different from the current divider of the nation,” the latter a term that Borissov uses to describe Radev.
Democratic Bulgaria, responding to Borissov’s comments, described him as “an absolute liar”.
“Today, the Prime Minister once again confirmed this fact, saying that the company that supplies the voting machines in the country is a sponsor and has donated money to “Yes, Bulgaria!”, the coalition said, referring to Hristo Ivanov’s party that is one of its components.
“This is an absolute lie. Neither the company nor the owner of the company that supplies the voting machines are donors to ‘Yes, Bulgaria!’. And Borissov knows that very well,” Democratic Bulgaria said.
It said that at the news conference, Borissov had told dozens of lies.
BSP leader Ninova, responding to Borissov saying that she should say openly that she wanted Parliament shut down as soon as possible so that he could not continue to govern, said: “What I can and cannot say is decided only by my party, not you”.
“In the event of the objective impossibility to form a new government, procrastination every day provides time for you to distribute more concessions, to spend the last money in the budget uncontrollably, to appoint your loyal people in the second and third tiers of government for the next five years,” Ninova said.
In the current situation, it was better to have a caretaker government appointed by Radev to take responsibility for governing the country, rather than retaining Borissov’s outgoing government, Ninova said, adding a rebuke to Borissov for holding a news conference on the day that Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter Monday.
(Photo of Borissov: government.bg)
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