WCC-Democratic Bulgaria, GERB-UDF deal on government: Candidate ministers announced

We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria’s candidate Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov announced at a joint briefing with GERB-UDF’s Maria Gabriel on June 2 that a list of candidate cabinet ministers had been finalised and a majority in Parliament secured to approve constitutional reforms.

Denkov said that on June 5 at 11am, the structure and line-up of the proposed government would be presented to President Roumen Radev.

The constitution obliges the head of state, once presented with a proposed cabinet on the basis of a mandate to seek to form a government, to table it for a vote in the National Assembly.

Denkov said that talks had been held on June 2 on securing a majority for the implementation of constitutional reform.

“Just amending the laws will not complete the whole process, so it was necessary to secure 160 MPs for constitutional reform,” he said.

Talks were held with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms on Friday to secure that constitutional majority.

Earlier on June 2, Denkov told reporters that the night before, the composition of the proposed cabinet had been approved by WCC and DB.

As to a forthcoming vote in the National Assembly on the proposed government, GERB-UDF and WCC-DB together have 132 out of 240 seats.

MRF leader Mustafa Karadayi said on June 2 that the party would not stand in the way of the proposed government being elected. The Friday talks on the constitutional majority involved leading figures from WCC, DB and GERB-UDF, and on the side of the MRF, Karadayi, Yordan Tsonev and controversial figure Delyan Peevski.

The parliamentary groups opposed to the proposed government are Vuzrazhdane, the Bulgarian Socialist Party and ITN.

The cabinet to be proposed is:

Nikolay Denkov, Prime Minister for the first nine months

Maria Gabriel, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, going on to be Prime Minister for the second nine months

Assen Vasilev, Finance Minister

Kalin Stoyanov, Interior Minister

Todor Tagarev, Defence Minister

Julian Popov, Minister of Environment and Water.

Roumen Radev (not to be confused with the eponymous head of state), Energy Minister

Andrey Tsekov, Minister of Regional Development and Public Works

Kiril Vatev, Minister of Agriculture and Food

Galin Tsokov, Minister of Education and Science

Krastyu Krastev, Minister of Culture

Bogdan Bogdanov, Minister of Economy and Industry

Milena Stoycheva, Minister of Innovation and Growth

Ivanka Shalapatova, Minister of Labour and Social Policy

Atanas Slavov, Minister of Justice

Georgi Gvozdeikov, Minister of Transport and Communications

Hristo Hinkov, Minister of Health

Zaritsa Dimkova, Minister of Tourism

Alexander Yolovski, Minister of e-Government

Dimitar Iliev, Minister of Youth and Sports

Meanwhile, on June 2 starting at 6.30pm outside the Presidency building in Dondukov Boulevard in Sofia, there will be a second in a succession of protests on the theme of “Bulgaria as a parliamentary republic in the EU and Nato,” protests sparked by comments by President Radev that have caused widespread outrage.

President Radev had publicly called for WCC-DB not to seek to form a government, and on June 1 said that a WCC-DB + GERB-UDF government would result only in “disgust”.

Organisers of the protest said that Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic in which there should be separation and mutual control between the authorities, and this means a functioning Parliament, a regular government and a judicial system with an independent court and an accountable prosecutor’s office.

According to the constitution, the president is the head of state, equidistant from all authorities.

“He may be entitled to a political position, but it is unacceptable to suggest to any political force not to fulfill the mandate given to form a government because it has already been ‘discredited,” organisers of the protest said.

“It is also unacceptable not to convene regular meetings of the Consultative Council on National Security or to try to declare according to its own criteria that it will not admit persons or parties who are participants in its meetings by right.”

With these public provocations, Radev was violating the constitution, which he had taken an oath to uphold, organisers said, accusing the president of trying to ensure the failure of another Parliament and thus extending his power through caretaker governments.

“Let’s not forget that Bulgaria is a parliamentary, not a presidential republic, and we hope it will remain so,” organisers said.

“Bulgaria chose its path of development a long time ago – it is a member of the European Union and in the collective security system of Nato, but let’s not forget that it is not guaranteed if we do not stand up and protect it in critical moments. We are in Europe, not Eurasia, and we will strongly oppose any attempt to bring us back into the orbit of influence of totalitarian states.”

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