Bulgaria: On March 15, Radev to hand over first mandate to seek to form a government

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev will on March 15 at 5pm hand over the first mandate to seek to form a government, the presidency press office said on March 13.

In line with the constitution, the first mandate will be handed to the National Assembly’s largest parliamentary group, the GERB-UDF coalition.

GERB-UDF, expected to be represented at the ceremony by Deputy Prime Minister Maria Gabriel, will have seven days either to present a proposed government or return the mandate unfulfilled.

Negotiations between a GERB-UDF team headed by Gabriel and a We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria team with current Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov entered a fifth day on March 13, with no public announcement of results.

Two documents are involved in the negotiations, a memorandum compiled by WCC-DB and a “co-governance” agreement tabled by GERB-UDF.

On March 13, Democratic Bulgaria co-leader Atanas Atanassov, part of the negotiating team, said that talks were going well and had reached the stage of personnel issues.

GERB-UDF leader Boiko Borissov confirmed that the negotiations are continuing and expressed confidence that the two sides will make concessions.

He again reminded that on behalf of GERB-UDF, the talks are conducted by Gabriel and when there is a result, it will be announced.

Borissov thanked WCC-DB for “tolerantly keeping silent” until either an understanding was reached or not reached.

The current sequence of events was triggered by Denkov’s government resigning, in line with a deal between WCC-DB and GERB-UDF in 2023 intended to see a “rotation” after nine months, with Gabriel taking over as Prime Minister. Steps to a smooth “rotation” have been complicated by the public exchanges between the two coalitions.

(Archive photo, of the May 2023 occasion when Radev offered Gabriel the mandate to seek to form a government: president.bg)

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