Bulgaria: GERB-UDF refuses to try to form government

The parliamentary group of GERB-UDF refused on July 14 a mandate from head of state President Roumen Radev to seek to form a government.

This was the second of three stages of the process of attempting to get a government elected by the current Parliament, after the Kiril Petkov government was voted out of office in a motion of no confidence on June 22.

The Assen Vassilev-Kiril Petkov We Continue the Change party, as the largest group in Parliament, received the first mandate to seek to form a government, but handed it back unfulfilled to Radev on July 8.

Radev repeated on July 14 his earlier announcement that with GERB-UDF having declined the mandate, he would now embark on a round of consultations with all parliamentary groups.

On the basis of these consultations, he would decide to which parliamentary group to offer the third mandate.

While the constitution requires the President to offer the first mandate to the largest parliamentary group and the second to the second-largest group, it confers on the head of state a free choice regarding to which group to offer the third.

Of the remaining parliamentary groups, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Democratic Bulgaria and ITN have said that they would attempt to get a government elected, while the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and Vuzrazhdane want the country to hold early parliamentary elections.

Should the third-mandate stage fail, the constitution obliges the President to dissolve Parliament, appoint a caretaker government and decree an election date two months hence from the date that Parliament is dissolved.

Radev has said that if it becomes necessary to hold early parliamentary elections, he would prefer them to be in the first half of October.

(Photo of GERB parliamentary leader Dessislava Atanassova and President Radev: president.bg)

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