At a brief ceremony on September 7, Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Kornelia Ninova handed back to President Roumen Radev the failed third and final exploratory mandate to seek to form a government, a final procedural step before Radev dissolves the National Assembly and decrees a date for what will be the country’s third parliamentary elections in 2021.
That date is not yet known, given that Radev has said that he expects Parliament to approve amendments to the 2021 Budget and other key legislation before he dissolves the legislature.
Radev has said that he was to consult the Central Election Commission on the issue of holding the early parliamentary elections on the same date that he faces a presidential election, November 14.
The commission has spoken of needing an additional 2000 voting machines if the two elections are held simultaneously.
Radev, in office on a ticket that was backed by the BSP, greeted Ninova warmly at the September 7 ceremony, telling her: “I want to congratulate you on your responsible approach. Alas, new elections and negotiations (on a government) await us”.
He thanked the socialist ministers and deputy ministers in the caretaker government that he appointed in May.
“I take this opportunity to thank the socialists, ministers and deputy ministers in the caretaker government, who with their work have earned the respect of the people,” Radev said.
He said that he was sure that the Bulgarian Socialist Party would be a constructive participant in the elections, and wished the party success.
Ninova blamed Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party, the Democratic Bulgaria coalition and the “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re Coming” coalition for the failure of the third mandate, saying that she was returning the mandate because these three groups had not given their support.
The first mandate had gone to ITN because it is the largest group in the current National Assembly. It aborted its bid, saying that there was insufficient support among other groups.
The next mandate went to Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF, the second-largest group in Parliament, which handed it back, triggering the third mandate stage of the process.
(Screenshot, of Ninova and Radev at the September 7 ceremony, via BNT)
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