Bulgaria’s WCC party begins formal consultations on proposed government

Bulgaria’s Kiril Petkov-Assen Vassilev We Continue the Change (WCC) party’s national council gave a mandate on June 28 to start negotiations on a proposed new government.

Consultations are to be held on June 28 with WCC’s two partners in the December 2021 Petkov government, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and Democratic Bulgaria, as well as with independent MPs who quit Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party.

The WCC national council envisages the negotiations being conducted on the basis of a clear programme and commitments.

The party’s negotiating team will be Petkov, Vassilev, Nikola Minchev and the WCC parliamentary leader, Andrei Gyurov.

Gyurov said: “We must do everything possible to form a government, taking into account the wishes of the majority of Bulgarian citizens.

“Especially in the current situation, where it would not be responsible to leave the country without a fully-fledged Cabinet or at least trying to form one,” Gyurov said.

Currently, WCC, the BSP, Democratic Bulgaria and the independent MPs fall six short of the majority needed in Parliament to vote a government into office.

Head of state President Roumen Radev declared on June 28 that his round of consultations with parliamentary groups ahead of offering the first mandate to seek to form a government was over.

Of the seven groups in Bulgaria’s Parliament, two – WCC and the BSP – declined to attend scheduled consultations on June 27, citing pressing parliamentary business. The President’s office had said that there would be an additional day of consultations to accommodate them, but Radev’s statement on Tuesday negated this.

Radev did not specify when he would hand over the first mandate, which in accordance with the constitution must go to Parliament’s largest group, in this case WCC.

On June 28, Radev met representatives of ITN, Democratic Bulgaria and Parliament’s smallest group, pro-Russian Vuzrazhdane.

ITN parliamentary leader Toshko Yordanov said that the party was unlikely to support a Cabinet in which Assen Vassilev is nominated to be Prime Minister.

“We will support a Cabinet with clear rules, without Kiril Petkov being present in it. If possible, it would be good if Assen Vassilev was not there,” Yordanov said.

It was ITN’s departure from Petkov’s ruling coalition that triggered the events including the June 21 vote in Parliament of no confidence in the government, and current attempts to get a new government elected.

Democratic Bulgaria co-leader Hristo Ivanov said that it was very important to try to form a Cabinet with the first mandate, as that was the one with the highest expectations.

Vuzrazhdane leader Kostadin Kostadinov called for early elections, the sooner the better. He said that if his party received the third mandate to seek to form a government, it would return it.

Should WCC’s attempt to get a government elected fail, the second mandate would go to Parliament’s second-largest group, GERB-UDF. On June 27, GERB-UDF said that it would refuse the mandate.

According to the constitution, should matters reach the stage of a third mandate, the President has a free hand in deciding to which parliamentary group to offer it. Should that third mandate fail, the President dissolves Parliament, appoints a caretaker government and decrees a date for early parliamentary elections.

(Photo from WCC’s Facebook page)

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