Bulgaria: WCC will not propose Cabinet if support not certain

If on the eve of the deadline to seek to form a government, the We Continue the Change (WCC) party is not confident it has the necessary support in Parliament to vote one into office, it will not propose a Cabinet.

This emerged from statements on July 6 by WCC’s candidate Prime Minister Assen Vassilev and by Innovation and Growth Minister, WCC’s Daniel Lorer.

WCC, which as the largest group in Parliament received a mandate on July 1 to seek to form a government, has until 5pm on July 8 to present its response to President Roumen Radev – either proposing a government or returning the mandate unfulfilled.

Vassilev said that the line-up of a proposed new government had not been discussed so far.

He indicated that if he did not gather preliminary support from 121 MPs – meaning, half of the 240 members of the National Assembly plus one – he would not present a draft Cabinet.

Lorer told bTV that if by Thursday evening WCC was not confident that it had gathered 121 votes to support a proposed Vassilev Cabinet, it would not propose one.

With a minimal majority behind a future government, it would be extremely difficult for it to govern, Lorer said.

He rejected allegations by GERB, ITN and Vuzrazhdane that WCC was offering money and benefits to ITN and Vuzrazhdane MPs to vote in favour of a new government.

GERB leader Boiko Borissov has alleged that WCC was trying to persuade MPs to absent themselves from a vote in the House.

A government may be voted into office if the House has a quorum and more than half of MPs present and voting cast their votes in favour of it.

Lorer said that WCC did not buy MPs: “The National Assembly is not a shop”.

“We need six more votes,” Lorer said. “The only thing that we offer them is that they can go out in front of Bulgaria with their heads held high.”

He said that the proposed governance programme had changing the anti-corruption commission as its top priority, as well as economic measures.

According to Lorer, in a Vassilev Cabinet, the new Finance Minister would be from WCC.

Democratic Bulgaria co-leader Hristo Ivanov said on July 6 that WCC had sent his group and the Bulgarian Socialist Party a draft of the governance programme, which Democratic Bulgaria and the BSP were analysing.

Ivanov said that there would be another round of comments on the draft: “The work is progressing, but it is not finished”.

He called for dialogue with the ITN parliamentary group – a move that WCC repeatedly has rejected, in favour of contact with individual MPs.

“We think that the responsible course of action, although some parties, including us, could argue for going to the polls, expecting to increase their support, I think the responsible course of action is to still try to elect a government so as not to cause further upheaval of the country,” Ivanov said.

BSP leader Kornelia Ninova said that she would comment on the draft governance programme after discussing it with her party colleagues.

(Photo of Lorer, Vassilev and Kiril Petkov from WCC’s Facebook page)

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