As Bulgaria awaits the next developments that will determine whether – as seems improbable – a government is elected, or the country goes to another early parliamentary election, President Roumen Radev said on August 13 that he would hold a new round of consultations with parties represented in the National Assembly.
Radev was speaking a day after, as The Sofia Globe reported, Parliament voted to put an end to the failed first attempt to get a government elected.
The next step required by the constitution is for the President to offer a second exploratory mandate to the National Assembly’s second-largest group, in this case Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition.
Borissov said earlier this week that he would nominate Daniel Mitov to head a candidate cabinet, but instead of this going on to be put to the vote in Parliament, Mitov would immediately return the mandate to Radev.
The constitution empowers the President, after that second stage, to offer a third mandate to seek to form a government. At this stage, the head of state may choose any parliamentary group.
Radev said that he would decide when, and to which group, to offer the third mandate after he heard the ideas of the parties about the formation of a government.
“I want to see a clear commitment of the Bulgarian Parliament and it will be clear who works for the people and who sows chaos,” Radev said.
He said that the caretaker government – which he appointed in May – had “proven that it was possible for politicians from different political horizons to work together”.
“Unfortunately, I do not see any readiness in the parties to follow this successful model,” Radev said.
“We see that the attempt to form a minority government, without a coalition, without broad parliamentary support, is a disaster,” he said, in a clear reference to the debacle that resulted from the approach by Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party, which was to present a minority government with a take it-or-leave it attitude regarding other parties.
Radev called on Parliament to approve the Budget revision tabled by his caretaker government, and to vote a date for the presidential elections, due in the autumn.
Asking when Parliament would approve the Budget revision, he said: “We cannot treat Bulgarian citizens irresponsibly.
“There are important, there are worrying issues that require the updating of this Budget. We cannot leave people in an impending pandemic crisis without financial and social support – for business, for healthcare, for front-line medics”.
Asked by reporters whether early parliamentary elections and the presidential elections would be held on the same day, Radev replied: “This is against the philosophy of the Bulgarian constitutional model.
“I do not want to talk about new elections before we have exhausted all possible options for forming a regular government with broad parliamentary support and the trust of Bulgarian citizens,” he said.
According to Radev, it remained possible for this Parliament to elect a regular government.
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