Bulgaria: GERB-UDF turns to talks with other parties on support for a minority government

Having rejected the proposed cabinet line-up announced by the We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria coalition, Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF is turning to talks with the other parliamentary groups to seek support for a minority government.

This emerged from statements on May 3 by Borissov.

“We have shown responsibility, with this behaviour, with the attempt to bribe us with (leaderships of parliamentary) committees, they are blowing up the only good situation for the state with goal of going to local elections,” Borissov told reporters, apparently referring to the municipal elections that Bulgaria is scheduled to hold in the autumn.

“From today, GERB-UDF starts negotiations with the other parties, we will not make a coalition. In such a National Assembly, we cannot elect the committees either, there is no clear majority,” he said.

Borissov said that without an elected government, the state would “collapse” as early as June.

He said that WCC-DB was continuing to try for a minority government while having 64 MPs. Bulgaria’s Parliament has 240 seats.

“The negotiations between GERB-UDF and WCC-DB are not over, because we have common things related to legal reform, energy, defense and foreign policy. In this situation, the responsibility of all parties is to form a cabinet of individuals for a maximum of six months, in today’s situation, the Budget will not be adopted,” he said..

The topic of GERB’s participation in a WCC-DB cabinet will not be raised anymore,” Borissov said.

“We understand, they don’t want [to cooperate], and because of their stubbornness we will go to elections without a Budget,” Borissov said.

He said that when GERB-UDF receives the first mandate to seek to form a government, it would propose its own cabinet with its own ministers, and if there was no support for that, GERB would propose a line-up with other personalities if that was what the other parties wanted.

WCC co-leader Assen Vassilev said that it was the right of GERB-UDF to start talks with the other parliamentary groups.

“It is the right of GERB-UDF, they are the first political force, they have a mandate and must make a decision. Everything they asked of us, we did. We presented a cabinet so that they would have complete information and make responsible decisions for the country. If if it comes to a second mandate, we will talk to all political forces,” Vassilev said.

Nikolai Denkov, named by WCC-DB as its candidate prime minister should it receive the second mandate, told Nova Televizia on May 3 that WCC-DB would not conduct negotiations on the line-up of a proposed government.

Denkov said that WCC-DB had not announced its proposed line-up because of GERB-UDF’s demand that it do so.

“We didn’t do it because of GERB. We do not accept ultimatums, we do not accept conditions. We are trying to do what would be most helpful in unraveling this puzzle—how to make government work,” Denkov said.

“It is Borissov’s duty to decide what he will do with the first mandate. We put the cards on the table, we said what we offer, let them decide what they will do,” he said.

Kornelia Ninova, leader of the National Assembly’s second-smallest group the Bulgarian Socialist Party, said that the BSP group would participate in talks with GERB about a government, but it will not change the red lines such as “gender ideology”, the war in Ukraine and social policy.

Ninova said that Bulgaria was in crisis and there is a danger that the Budget for this year would not be approved.

Stanislav Balabanov, an MP for the National Assembly’s smallest group, ITN, said that ITN would respond to an invitation from any group for talks. However, he questioned the potential for a cabinet from the two largest parliamentary groups and demanded that ITN receive the third mandate to seek to form a government.

(Archive photo: government.bg)

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