At a formal ceremony at the Presidency in Sofia on May 15, President Roumen Radev handed Maria Gabriel, the Prime Minister-designate nominated by the GERB-UDF coalition, a mandate to seek to form a government.
As the largest parliamentary group in the 49th National Assembly, elected at the April 2 snap polls, GERB-UDF is the first to receive a mandate to seek to form a government.
Gabriel, 43, was the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. She initially took unpaid leave from the EC, but European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on May 15 that Gabriel resigned her position.
Speaking during the ceremony, Gabriel said that she would put forth an “expert cabinet, united around clear priorities.” At the weekend, Gabriel said that the talks with other political groups in Parliament will focus on an expert Cabinet with a one-year term in office, but she made no mention of the short-term horizon during her remarks at the presidency.
Gabriel has one week to either nominate the line-up of a government or return the mandate to Radev unfulfilled. She held meetings with representatives of several parliamentary groups in the 49th National Assembly earlier on May 15.
Following those meetings, the predominantly ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) appeared to support the proposal of a short-term expert Cabinet, while the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) said that its national council would decide on the proposal on May 16, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio reported.
Gabriel did not hold a meeting with the We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria parliamentary group, the second largest in the 49th National Assembly.
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