Shake-up in leadership echelon of Borissov’s GERB party
A May 11 national conference of outgoing Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party saw changes in the leadership echelon, with Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova and Bourgas mayor Dimitar Nikolov voted out as deputy leaders.
Outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev and Daniel Mitov – the former foreign minister who was Borissov’s prime minister-designate before GERB gave up trying to form a government – were voted in as deputy leaders.
The May 11 date for the conference, GERB’s first since August 2020, was chosen some weeks ago, before it was known that this would be the date on which President Roumen Radev would announce his decrees dissolving the 45th National Assembly and setting a July 11 parliamentary election date.
Weeks ago, there were media reports that Fandukova and Nikolov would be ousted from their deputy leader posts because Borissov was disappointed with GERB’s performance in Sofia and Bourgas in the April 4 parliamentary elections.
Addressing the conference, Borissov denied this, saying that Fandukova and Nikolov remained “most respected, most deserving” and were being allowed more time to run their cities. The two have become members of GERB’s executive committee.
The conference voted to increase the executive committee from 11 to 15 members.
Apart from Fandukova and Nikolov, the new members are former Plovdiv mayor Ivan Totev, now an MP, outgoing cabinet minister Denitsa Sacheva, Sofia party leader Todor Krustev, Ilter Sadakov, an MP from Shoumen, Vezhdi Rashidov, an MP, and Kostadin Angelov, the outgoing Health Minister. Tsveta Karayancheva, Daniela Daritkova, Zhivko Todorov and Todor Todorov remain on the committee.
Borissov told the conference that “we have two very difficult months ahead of us”. He said that “the money of the oligarchy” was being used against GERB.
He praised his party and his outgoing government – Borissov’s third – and said that people appreciated what GERB had achieved.
Borissov hit out at cable television presenter and ITN party leader Slavi Trifonov for his refusal to attempt to form a government. Trifonov’s ITN, which ran second on April 4 after GERB, turned down the mandate offered to it, even though other parliamentary groups had offered to supply the votes to elect a government nominated by it.
The GERB leader said that it would be disastrous for Bulgaria is a government was not formed after the July elections, and he called for guarantees of the fairness of the vote.
“Hopefully the new government will ensure fair elections, like us, not to allow hackers to make a mess through the (voting) machines. We will be vigilant, of course, but I hear such talk,” Borissov said.
Journalists were not admitted to the GERB national conference. The party’s stated reason was the Covid-19 situation.
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