As Bulgaria’s Parliament set to resume, so do squabbles in ruling majority

Bulgaria’s National Assembly will resume sitting on September 1, with the end of the summer recess, and the run-up is seeing public squabbling between the two coalitions that voted the government into office in June.

This past weekend, GERB-UDF leader Boiko Borissov criticised We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria, claiming that the government mandate-holder had been using the summer recess to carry out a series of changes to government posts without consulting him.

Bulgarian media said that Borissov appeared to call into question the future of the ruling majority, which he referred to as the “assembly” (having early referred to it as the “non-coalition”).

WCC co-leader Kiril Petkov has responded with a challenge to GERB to say whether it supports the reform of the security and intelligence services or whether they would leave them in the hands of head of state President Roumen Radev.

Radev, through the caretaker governments he appointed in the months that Bulgaria remained without an elected government, cemented his power.

In a recent episode, the current government requested the ousting of the Interior Ministry chief secretary, for his lack of co-operation with the Interior Ministry and what the government said was his culpability for the failures in several high-profile cases, but Radev refused, claiming that ouster sought was “politically motivated” in view of the coming municipal elections.

On August 28, WCC issued an official position, saying that every time it comes to the governments appointed by Radev, he reacted aggressively.

“That is why it is important for Borisov to make a choice – does it retain the influence of the president or give the Bulgarian Parliament a chance to decide the fate of security in Bulgaria and bear its responsibility for it,” WCC said.

WCC said that changes to the laws that regulate the special services were the only way “the state can guarantee the security of people and the economy.”

Petkov has expressed hope that at the beginning of September, the dialogue between WCC-DB and GERB-UDF would continue.

“I hope there will be a real law that will really fight corruption in Bulgaria, the law against money laundering, the Schengen laws,” Petkov said.

He called for resistance to pressure from economic interests that wanted the ouster of the government.

Not to be left out of the melodrama, at the weekend Radev told reporters: “Mr Petkov seems to have forgotten that he, not I, is in coalition with Mr Borissov and Mr Peevski”.

The exchanges between GERB-UDF and WCC-DB come against the background of the approach of Bulgaria’s October 29 municipal and mayoral elections. While both currently back the national government, in the local elections, they will be rivals.

Please support The Sofia Globe’s independent journalism by becoming a subscriber to our page on Patreon:

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.