Bulgaria: Trifonov’s party sees ‘good chances’ for forming government
Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party sees good chances for forming a new government, and while it will not enter into coalitions, it will seek support for policies and priorities from the four other parliamentary groups that it has invited for talks, deputy leader Toshko Yordanov said on July 23.
An ITN delegation, led by Yordanov and from which Trifonov was absent, met President Roumen Radev as he held a day of consultations with parliamentary groups ahead of handing over the first mandate to seek to form a government.
As the largest parliamentary group, ITN is entitled by the constitution to receive that mandate.
Speaking after the meeting, Yordanov said that going by the declarations of Democratic Bulgaria, the “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re Coming” group, “to a large extent the BSP (Bulgarian Socialist Party) and strangely enough, the priorities of some things of the MRF (Movement for Rights and Freedoms) too” there were matters that could be agreed on.
During the meeting with Radev, Yordanov had named matters on which he believed agreement existed as including judicial reform, including a reform of the status of the Prosecutor-General, the social problems of pensioners and measures to prepare for a possible new health crisis.
Yordanov said that the option of new elections could not be ruled out and said that it would be clear in coming days whether a government could be formed.
Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition, the second-largest group in Parliament, boycotted Radev’s day of consultations.
GERB-UDF parliamentary leader Dessislava Atanassova said that Radev had severely divided the nation and in no way could he be legitimised as a unifier.
“We are honoured to have nothing to do with what is happening,” GERB-UDF deputy leader Tomislav Donchev said.
BSP leader Kornelia Ninova reiterated that if the first and second mandates did not produce results and her party got the third mandate, it would try to form a cabinet – in contrast to its actions in April, when it returned the mandate.
“The difference from the last time is that ITN is rethinking its position and wants a dialogue…Bulgarian citizens can count on the BSP for reason in order to form a regular cabinet,” Ninova said.
She said that the BSP’s national council would meet on Sunday to decide on the “red lines” of issues on which the party would not compromise in deciding whether to support a proposed government.
Democratic Bulgaria coalition co-leader Hristo Ivanov said that the coalition was ready to contribute to the formation of a regular government, but would not do so at any cost.
“Our focus now is on the first mandate. This is the healthiest option that exists in terms of democratic support. We will give our support very carefully and with great responsibility and only for something that we really believe can move forward.
“If it is just a retelling of things that we have lived so far, I somehow believe that it will happen without us. The responsibility for constructing this formula lies with colleagues from ITN,” Ivanov said.
He said that Democratic Bulgaria had trained people who could serve in government if asked, but would not put them forward itself.
Regarding the fact that ITN had included the MRF in the groups with which it will hold talks, Ivanov said that it was not worrying that talks with them were starting, but “we would be worried about them staying in the final configuration.
MRF leader Mustafa Karadayi said that there was a “good basis for dialogue” and this should not be undermined.
The MRF would not give unconditional support. “Restoration of normalcy in politics, restoration of democracy are conditions from which we cannot give up, Karadayi said.
Maya Manolova of “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re coming”, Parliament’s smallest group, said that the group would support a cabinet “whose agenda is the agenda of Bulgarian citizens”.
“We are ready and will support a government of change, but not if it shows the long arm of GERB and MRF, which would be a toxic embrace,” Manolova said.
At the meeting with Radev, Manolova called on parties to put aside their party interests and party reckoning so that a stable government could be formed.
ITN held talks with Democratic Bulgaria on Friday, on Saturday is due to meet “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re coming” and the BSP, and on Sunday will hold talks with the MRF.
It is not clear when Radev will hand over the mandate to seek to form a government, as in recent days he has sent contradictory signals on the matter.
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