Bulgaria: Trifonov’s party denies asking MRF for support for proposed government

Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party held talks with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms on July 25, with the MRF saying that support for a government nominated by ITN would not be unconditional, and Trifonov’s party insisting that it was not seeking MRF support.

The talks marked the close of three days of the first phase of ITN, which won the largest share of votes in the early parliamentary elections and thus is entitled to the first mandate to seek to form a government, meeting all other parliamentary groups except Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition.

ITN deputy leader Toshko Yordanov said that the party had not sought from the MRF the votes in Parliament for a new government to be nominated by the party, but only had presented its priorities to the MRF delegation, which was headed by Mustafa Karadayi.

“Our irrevocable condition for supporting a cabinet is the restoration of normalcy in politics and democracy,” Karadayi said.

He said that the MRF would not be nominating cabinet members.

On Sunday, Democratic Bulgaria coalition co-leader Atanas Atanassov said that he had heard from a senior source in ITN that no one linked to the MRF would be nominated to the proposed cabinet.

Trifonov announced a proposed cabinet on July 12, the day after the early parliamentary elections, but withdrew it amid public outrage about nominees linked to parties from the past political establishment. It is not clear when ITN will announce its promised revised set of cabinet nominees.

Trifonov did not stand as an MP, has said that he will not be his party’s nominee to be prime minister, and has attended none of the talks with the other parties.

Also on Sunday, the day after the Bulgarian Socialist Party held talks with ITN, the BSP national council met.

Speaking after the meeting, BSP leader Kornelia Ninova said that the most important decision at the national council meeting, approved by 120 votes in favour and one against, was a declaration that the party wanted security and stability and would engage in efforts for a cabinet to be formed “in order to continue the complete dismantling of the current model of government”.

Outside the national council meeting, there was a large protest by BSP members, demanding the resignation of Ninova, given the party’s latest dismal election results.

Ninova said that she would not resign because the people demanding her resignation were not those who had elected her.

In an interview on Saturday, former BSP leader and former prime minister Sergei Stanishev called for Ninova’s resignation, saying that proportionately, the July early parliamentary elections had seen the BSP lose more votes than GERB did.

At the weekend, President Roumen Radev said that he would hand over the first mandate to seek to form a government once the “protest parties” had guaranteed that they had achieved a positive result towards the formation of a government.

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