Bickering between GERB-UDF, We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria

The We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria parliamentary group absented itself from a sitting of the National Assembly on June 23, the latest day of a recent round of bickering between the group and Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF.

The bickering began as WCC-DB accused GERB-UDF, with whom it voted the new government into office earlier this month, of forming “floating majorities” with other parliamentary groups.

Borissov has accused WCC-DB of a power grab, wanting its appointees in charge throughout the state, while he is at odds with WCC-DB in particular over the nomination of a new governor of the central bank, with Borissov wanting incumbent Dimitar Radev to retain the post.

On June 23, WCC co-leader Kiril Petkov said that GERB-UDF had formed a “hidden majority” with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and Vuzrazhdane, a breach of the agreement between WCC-DB and GERB-UDF on a common legislative programme.

“First, one of the biggest events of the past two weeks was the replacement of Ivan Geshev (as Prosecutor-General) with Borislav Sarafov. We wanted the Minister of Justice to be heard in the National Assembly. We were blocked by the hidden majority of GERB, MRF and Vuzrazhdane,” Petkov said.

“The legal affairs committee requested that the Minister of Justice be heard, the committee was also blocked by these parties. The anti-corruption law, where we had an agreement that the two (drafts of) the law would be introduced together, our law was rejected by the same majority. This cannot go on,” he said.

Petkov said that the matter of the election of heads of three regulators – the Court of Auditors, Bulgarian National Bank and the National Health Insurance Fund – had been tabled in committee in spite of an agreement that first there would be careful discussions between GERB-UDF and WCC-DB on the matter, so that for each regulator there would be candidates who had impeccable reputations.

He said that the WCC-DB parliamentary group would discuss the situation on June 23 and would come up with a declaration about what it would do if GERB-UDF continued “slowly amending the agreement”. Asked if options included the government resigning, Petkov said: “Potentially, yes”.

Borissov said that WCC-DB were changing personnel in ministries, agencies and regulators and “appointing their own people everywhere”.

He said that the solution would be to sign a joint governance agreement, but said he would not oust the government, in spire of the differences.

Borissov said that he had met WCC-DB’s Lena Borislavova on June 22, and said that the true intentions of WCC-DB had become clear to him: “To rule the country alone, as well as Parliament, the regulatory bodies”.

“We have wholesale personnel changes in the ministries, in the agencies that they completely control, now they also want the regulators. They appoint their people everywhere, they have no political family and they also propose a European Commissioner, so they want everything,” Borissov said.

“It turns out that they are scaring us that the government will fall again. I will not overthrow the government and with all our actions so far, we have shown absolute stability and the government exists thanks to us,” he said.

(Photos of Borissov and Petkov:

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