WCC-Democratic Bulgaria stands firm against government proposed by GERB-UDF

The We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria coalition is holding to its stance that it will not vote in favour of a government nominated by Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition.

As the largest parliamentary group, GERB-UDF received on May 15 the first mandate to seek to form a government.

WCC-DB, the second-largest, held talks on May 16 on its stance on the GERB-UDF move to nominate a government headed by former European Commissioner Maria Gabriel.

Before and after Bulgaria’s April 2 early parliamentary elections – the fifth time in two years that Bulgaria has elected a legislature – WCC-DB has insisted that it would not back a government nominated by GERB-UDF or in which Borissov’s coalition in represented.

However, Gabriel’s performance on May 12 in answering questions from a delegation of WCC-DB leaders prompted a call by WCC co-leader Kiril Petkov for a rethink on the second-ranked coalition’s stance.

On May 17, a succession of meetings was held on the topic – first among the five leaders within the WCC-DB coalition, then the WCC national council, then the WCC-DB parliamentary group.

Petkov told reporters that the WCC-DB was sticking by its stance, that it would not support a government proposed by GERB-UDF.

“We are starting to work on the second mandate (to seek to form a government), which we see as the only alternative for Bulgaria not to go to sixth elections,” Petkov said.

DB co-leader Hristo Ivanov said: “We are starting consultations with all political forces in Parliament regarding their readiness to support specific changes to the constitution.

“We believe that the situation in the past few days confirms our long-held position that the Bulgarian political and institutional system cannot be normalised without a deep ambitious change to the constitution, in relation to the Supreme Judicial Council and in relation to the Prosecutor’s Office. It is obvious that anything else is only a short-circuit,” Ivanov said.

The stance taken on May 17 appears to leave GERB-UDF with effectively no hope of getting a government proposed on the basis of its mandate elected. Within the 49th National Assembly, WCC-DB, Vuzrazhdane and the Bulgarian Socialist Party stand opposed to a GERB-UDF “Gabriel” government, leaving Borissov’s coalition without the numbers required to get a government elected.

Failure of the first mandate would mean the baton would pass to WCC-DB as the second-largest group.

Should there be failure at the second-mandate stage, the head of state would offer a third mandate to minority parliamentary group of his choice. Ivanov declined to be drawn on what WCC-DB’s stance would be should matters reach a third-mandate stage.

Should all three mandates prove fruitless, the 49th National Assembly would be dissolved and Bulgaria would head to the sixth time in just more than two years that it elects a legislature.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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