Bulgaria: Trifonov’s party repeats it will not support a third bid to elect a government

Cable television presenter Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party repeated on August 17 that it would not support a third-round attempt at getting a government elected by the National Assembly.

ITN MP Viktoria Vassileva said that there was “no political logic” in other groups, which had not supported the government proposed by the largest party in Parliament – ITN – expecting Trifonov’s party to support a minority government which would rule based on a floating majority.

Vassileva emphasised that others had accused ITN of attempting to rule with a floating majority.

Trifonov announced on August 10 that the government his party had proposed – the second since an unofficial announcement after the July 11 election – was being withdrawn because other parliamentary groups had said that they could not support it.

A vote in the National Assembly to approve the withdrawal of the proposal opened the way for President Roumen Radev to proceed to hand the second mandate to Parliament’s second-largest group, Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF.

Radev said at the weekend that he would hold a further round of consultations with all parliamentary groups before handing over the second mandate. Further, he made the handing over of the second mandate conditional on Parliament approved the Budget amendment tabled by the caretaker government he appointed in May.

Speaking after leading a GERB-UDF delegation to Radev’s consultations on August 17, parliamentary group leader Dessislava Atanassova said that the group would return the mandate immediately after receiving it.

Atanassova said that as soon as possible, a government should be formed by those groups that had said they were willing to do so, she said, saying that she was referring to Democratic Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re Coming” coalition.

“We believe that it is much better to move to a second and a third mandate, respectively, and if a government is formed, to have a parliamentary majority behind it, with responsibility for both updating the Budget and managing crises, as well as for preparing the next Budget for 2022,” Atanassova said.

Bulgaria’s constitution confers on the President, should the first and second mandates not produce a result, the right to choose to which group to offer the third mandate. Radev has said that he will decide on this only after the conclusion of this round of consultations.

Speaking after meeting Radev on August 17, BSP leader Kornelia Ninova said: “If the third mandate comes to us, we will continue in the way we have done so far – specifically, constructively and wisely in search of common ground with colleagues from other parliamentary parties, without GERB and MRF (the Movement for Rights and Freedoms)”.

Radev’s consultations are scheduled to continue on the afternoon of August 18, when he will meet Democratic Bulgaria, the MRF and “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re Coming”.

Should all three mandates fail, the President must dissolve Parliament and decree a date for elections, which should this happen would propel Bulgaria to its third parliamentary elections in 2021.

(Screenshot, from left: ITN MP Filip Stanev, parliamentary leader Toshko Yordanov, and President Radev)

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