The distribution of seats in the cabinet to be proposed by the We Continue the Change (WCC) party, winner of the largest share of votes in Bulgaria’s November parliamentary elections, will be roughly proportional to the votes won by the four participating parties.
It is proposed to have four deputy prime ministers and to split the Economy Ministry into a Ministry of Innovation and Growth, and a Ministry of State-owned Enterprises, WCC co-leader and the party’s nominee for prime minister Kiril Petkov said on December 6.
A WCC delegation led by Petkov and party co-leader Assen Vassilev met President Roumen Radev on December 6, as the head of state began two days of consultations with the seven groups in the 47th National Assembly, ahead of handing a mandate to WCC to seek to get a government elected.
Petkov said that he expected WCC would receive this mandate this week.
At the weekend, Petkov said that WCC would sign coalition government agreements individually with its three partners, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party and the Democratic Bulgaria coalition.
Petkov said on December 6 that negotiations on the coalition government agreement had been conducted in an “absolutely constructive tone”, both at the level of leadership talks, which were ongoing, and at the level of experts.
He said that in many policy areas, there was a 90 per cent overlap in policies among the groups.
A draft coalition agreement had been sent to the other parties at midnight on Sunday. Petkov has expressed optimism it would be signed this week, possibly on Wednesday.
The proposed distribution of seats in the cabinet is 10 for WCC, four for the BSP, four for ITN and three for Democratic Bulgaria.
Tomislav Donchev of the GERB-UDF coalition, the second-largest group in the 47th National Assembly, said on December 6 that the group would vote against the government proposed by WCC.
“What is the political logic for the opposition to vote in favour of the government. This automatically makes you part of the government. Of course, we will vote against it,” Donchev said.
Mustafa Karadayi, leader of the third-largest parliamentary group the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), said that Bulgaria needed a regular cabinet in view of the many crises – health, social, economic and financial, and inflation.
Asked after the meeting with Radev whether the MRF would vote to elect the proposed government, Karadayi said that this would depend on the policies and line-up. It would not be “against the laws of physics” to vote in favour, he said.
Meeting Radev, BSP leader Kornelia Ninova said: “We understand the responsibility that is expected of us. We have said many times that Bulgaria needs a functioning parliament and a regular government.
“The talks are continuing today. We will make every effort to have a functioning parliament. It is most important for us to start working on the Budget, not to leave people in a difficult situation during the winter months, not to allow the increase of electricity prices for household consumers,” Ninova said.
Radev is due on Tuesday is to receive delegations from ITN, Democratic Bulgaria and the Vuzrazhdane party.
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