Bulgarian President concludes consultations ahead of handing mandate to form government
Bulgarian President Roumen Radev concluded his round of consultations with the 49th National Assembly’s parliamentary groups on April 21, as his announcement on when he will hand over the first mandate to seek to form a government was awaited.
That first mandate will go to Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition, as the largest group in Parliament.
Radev, who met GERB-UDF and We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria on April 20, continued on April 21 with the remaining groups by order of size: pro-Kremlin party Vuzrazhdane, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and ITN.
Vuzrazhdane leader Kostadin Kostadinov said that his party wanted to be in power, had never said it would be the opposition in the 49th National Assembly, and was ready to receive the third and final mandate to seek to form a government, should matters reach that stage.
Asked how long this Parliament could work, Kostadinov said that the Budget was the main priority because its adoption had been much delayed.
He drew on Vuzrazhdane’s election platform to list what he claimed to be the “main tasks” – preserving Bulgaria’s “financial independence” by retaining the lev, to be distant as possible from the war in Ukraine, to renegotiate Bulgaria’s relations with the rest of the European Union and to have political stability “but not at any cost”.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting with Radev, Kostadinov said that the head of state should not delay handing over the first mandate.
“There is a hypothetical chance for a government between the first and second political forces (GERB-UDF and WCC-DB). The things that separate them are personal conflicts and interests. Even if they manage to overcome them and form a government – it will be absolutely unstable,” Kostadinov said.
“As (former prime minister Kiril) Petkov’s government fell, so will this one too…Even if it is in four to five months, such a cabinet will inevitably fall,” he said.
MRF leader Mustafa Karadayi, also reiterating his party’s election platform, said that the MRF wanted “common sense and dialogue in Parliament, to form a government with an agenda that matches that of society”.
After the talks, Karadayi told reporters that a majority in Parliament was possible with the first mandate or the third.
The second mandate will go to WCC-DB, as the second-largest group. The constitution gives the head of state a free hand in choosing to which parliamentary group to hand the third mandate.
Kornelia Ninova, leader of the BSP – whose delegation turned up late for their appointment with Radev – said that the BSP had decided not to support a GERB government, but if it received an invitation for negotiations from GERB, WCC-DB or any other political grouping, an internal decision would be made by the party.
Ninova said that a minority government, such as WCC-DB was considering, was a dangerous configuration that would result in instability and unpredictability.
The consultations concluded after an ITN delegation appeared for talks with Radev.
Separately, Borissov held a news conference on the afternoon of April 21, saying that WCC-DB said that they wanted to form a government with the second mandate and telling reporters: “My request is that you ask them to name with whom. With everyone means with no one”.
GERB-UDF has asked Radev to delay handing over the first mandate, without being specific about for how long he should do so.
(Photo of Radev’s April 21 talks with Vuzrazhdane: president.bg)
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