Bulgaria’s WCC hopes for coalition government agreement on December 10

The co-leaders of Bulgaria’s We Continue the Change (WCC) party have expressed hope that agreement on a coalition government will be reached on December 10, and that an administration that will last a full four-year term will be put in place.

WCC won the largest share of seats in Bulgaria’s National Assembly elections on November 14 and will be the first to receive a mandate to seek to form a government. It plans to do so in partnership with the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party and the Democratic Bulgaria coalition – the “WCC+3”.

On December 9, there was an emergency meeting involving leaders of the four formations after the BSP raised concerns about legislation arising from social policies.

Speaking after the meeting, WCC co-leader Assen Vassilev said that the meeting had been held to clarify the last remaining items on the legislative programme in the draft agreement.

“Final texts that can be voted on. They are already ready, so we hope for a coalition agreement tomorrow by the end of the day,” Vassilev said.

A long-awaited, previously postponed, meeting of the national council of Ninova’s BSP is to held in the first part of the afternoon of December 10, to decide on approval of the coalition government agreement.

WCC co-leader Kiril Petkov, his party’s nominee for prime minister, said that after the BSP national council approves the agreement, its contents will be announced.

“We are moving towards proposing a stable government, which we hope will continue for the next four years,” Petkov said.

After the meeting of the representatives of the four groups, Ninova said that her party had no further objections.

“Yes, we had comments about the legislative programme in the social sphere, but everything has been resolved and placed in the Budget for next year,” she said.

Iva Miteva of ITN said that the meeting had been “really constructive”: “We managed to agree on everything”.

ITN had agreed in principle to sign the agreement.

Democratic Bulgaria coalition co-leader Hristo Ivanov said that there was “no drama”.

“There is not a single stumbling block, everything is proceeding normally,” Ivanov said.

On December 8, the three constituent parties of the Democratic Bulgaria all individually agreed to approve the agreement.

The agreement reportedly is a voluminous, three-part document.

The first is a political framework, including the structure of the Cabinet. The second part is the expert framework, which summarises the results of the expert groups on the 18 policy areas that had been identified by WCC. The third part is the legislative framework, the one on which BSP comments resulted in the December 9 meeting.

President Roumen Radev has not yet announced when he will hand over the first exploratory mandate, indicating only that he would do so after a coalition agreement has been reached.

WCC’s Vassilev has said that it is probable that when the party’s delegation meets Radev, it will arrive with a ready proposed Cabinet.

Vassilev, the WCC nominee for deputy prime minister and finance minister, said that each of the four groups would have a deputy prime minister, and there would be a fifth deputy prime minister, in charge of effective governance.

WCC’s Kalina Konstantinova has told the media that she would be the nominee deputy prime minister in charge of effective governance. She said that the term meant “digital transformation of the state administration”.

Ivanov said that Democratic Bulgaria expected that it would have three seats in the proposed government.

“We know the names of the ministers, but it is good to wait for the mandate-holders to announce the structure,” Ivanov said. Previously, Ivanov has said that the names of the candidate ministers would not include his.

The BSP is expected to announce the names of its nominees for Cabinet posts after the December 10 national council meeting.

(Photo of Vassilev and Petkov via WCC’s Facebook page)

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