We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria coalition accepts mandate to seek to form a government

In a ceremony lasting barely five minutes, President Roumen Radev handed on May 29 the We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria’s candidate Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov the second in a series of mandates to seek to form a government.

Against the background of an illicit release of a recording of a WCC national council meeting that has disrupted talks with Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF on the formation of a government, Radev said that if it was up to him personally, he would not hand over the mandate, but Bulgaria’s constitution obliged him to do so.

Radev cited the recording as the reason that he personally did not want to give WCC-DB the mandate.

“I am called on to defend the constitution and I am obliged to hand over this exploratory mandate. Its use is your constitutional right. But precisely to preserve your dignity and political perspective and preserve the image in front of our European partners, I call on you to reconsider fully the appropriateness of this mandate, which, in my opinion, has already been discredited,” Radev said.

Denkov told Radev: “It is very important that Parliament continues to work regularly.

“We are awaiting legislative amendments to the Penal Code, including the war on the roads, reforms in the judicial system, so that the state can return justice to the people”.

Denkov said that they would hold negotiations with the other parliamentary groups in the coming days in order to be able to form a government to be able to fulfill the goals laid down in their governance programme.

“I hope this effort will be supported and we will have a government next week,” he said.

Radev told Denkov: “I hope you realise the risk and the responsibility you are taking.” Denkov responded that he was familiar with, but is not afraid of, the difficulties.

The second mandate stage was reached after on May 22, GERB-UDF candidate Prime Minister Maria Gabriel formally returned the first mandate, given the deal at the time between WCC-DB and GERB-UDF on a government in which the post of Prime Minister would rotate between Denkov and Gabriel, with a cabinet made up of WCC ministers.

After the May 26 release of the recording of the WCC meeting, GERB-UDF announced that it was “freezing” talks with WCC-DB.

GERB is demanding that the formula for the proposed government be changed so that it is made up not of political figures but of experts. From within GERB there were also demands that the second mandate be received by Gabriel, not Denkov, a demand that WCC-DB declined.

WCC-DB now has seven days to propose the structure and line-up of a cabinet. If it is not able to do so, a third mandate will be handed over by Radev to the parliamentary group of his choice. Failure at the third-mandate stage would mean that the 49th National Assembly would be dissolved and Bulgaria would head to its sixth parliamentary elections in the past two years.

(Screenshot via BNT’s live broadcast of the May 29 ceremony)

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