Bulgarian Socialist Party will not support ITN’s proposed cabinet unless Iliev is dropped

The Bulgarian Socialist Party said on August 10 that its coalition’s political council had decided that unless Petar Iliev, the candidate deputy prime minister in charge of security and interior minister in the government proposed by Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party, is dropped from the line-up, the BSP will not vote in favour of the proposed cabinet.

The decision came the day before the National Assembly is due to vote on the government proposed by ITN, which is the largest parliamentary group – with 65 out of 240 MPs – and received the first mandate to seek to form a government.

The BSP said that it appreciated the efforts made by its negotiating team to reach a political agreement with ITN, setting out the coalition’s priorities.

It expressed reservations about the line-up of the proposed cabinet, in particular Iliev.

The BSP has made the same demand before, to which Trifonov responded on August 9 by defending Iliev and giving no indication that he would be withdrawn.

Earlier on August 10, the Democratic Bulgaria coalition, which has 34 MPs, said that it could not support the government proposed by ITN, while on August 9, the 13-MP “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re Coming” coalition said that it would vote against the proposed cabinet.

Nikolai Hadzhigenov of the “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re Coming” group said on August 10 that an interview given the day before by Iliev (pictured) was reason alone to vote against ITN’s proposed government.

In that interview, Iliev was arrogant, flippant and declined to answer questions that he did not approve of.

The National Assembly’s second-largest group, Boiko Borissov’s 63-MP GERB-UDF, has said that it will attend the August 11 sitting and vote against the proposed cabinet.

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which has 29 MPs, has made no clear statement on the issue.

Should the first attempt at voting a government into office come to nothing, a second mandate would go to the National Assembly’s second-largest group, Borissov’s GERB-UDF, which has said it would make no attempt to propose a government.

After that stage, according to the constitution, the President has a free hand to offer a third exploratory mandate to any one of the parliamentary groups.

Should that stage of the process prove fruitless, the head of state would have to dissolve the current National Assembly and decree a date for an election, which should it happen would be the third time in 2021 that Bulgarians are asked to vote in a parliamentary election.

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