Bulgaria: Radev calls on caretaker Prime Minister-designate Glavchev to present a government within a week

At a meeting on March 30, Bulgarian head of state President Roumen Radev handed caretaker Prime Minister-designate Dimitar Glavchev a mandate to propose a government and called on him to do so within no later than seven days, by April 6.

Having accepted the mandate, Glavchev told Radev: “See you next Saturday”.

Radev named Glavchev after interviewing holders of posts listed in the amended constitution as eligible to be appointed as caretaker Prime Minister.

Glavchev is head of the Audit Office. Parliament is expected next week to amend legislation to enable him to take up the post of caretaker PM, with Glavchev taking unpaid leave from the Audit Office and returning to the office to serve out the remainder of his term after his time as caretaker PM is over.

Glavchev, a chartered accountant, was a member of Parliament for GERB, and member of the committee on budget and finance, from the 41st to the 46th National Assembly.

He was head of the committee on budget and finance and head of the standing subcommittee on public sector accountability in the 41st National Assembly.

Glavchev was Speaker of the National Assembly for some months in 2017, resigning amid controversy, as The Sofia Globe reported at the time.

Radev again criticised the amendments to the constitution that limited his choice of caretaker PM.

According to Radev, no other office-bearer except Glavchev had been willing to be appointed as caretaker PM.

Though the constitution does not specify a deadline for a caretaker PM-designate to present a government to the head of state, Radev urged Glavchev to fulfill the mandate within seven days and promised not to interfere in any way in the formation of a government.

“This is a difficult decision for both of us, I approach it with responsibility, it was the only alternative. I will present to you a composition of a government equidistant from all political forces, a composition of experts, untainted and uncorrupt and of good reputation in society. I am I am sure that there are such people in the departments and ministries,” Glavchev said.

“I will make sure that you do not feel ashamed when signing the decree [appointing the caretaker government],” Glavchev told Radev.

“I am fully aware that the main function of the caretaker government is to organise fair elections, but the main function of any government is to improve the lives of citizens,” Glavchev said.

“I will continue to affirm Bulgaria’s Euro-Atlantic path , as this path has been chosen for a long time. When presenting the cabinet, I will present the candidates to the political forces as well, so that they can be convinced as well,” he said.

“It is worth recalling here that eight months ago I became the chairman of the Audit Office, where depoliticisation is absolutely mandatory. Anyone from the media and ordinary citizens can go and ask anyone who works there at the Audit Office if I have shown any bias during these eight months. I plan to continue in the same spirit.”

After Glavchev proposes the structure and composition of the caretaker cabinet, Radev must hold consultations again with the parliamentary groups, and only after these talks issue a decree to appoint the caretaker government.

After that, the head of state issues a second decree, naming a date for parliamentary elections to be held within two months.

Bulgaria is scheduled to hold regular elections of members of the European Parliament on June 9. It is not yet clear whether or not the early parliamentary elections will be held “two-in-one” with the European Parliament elections.

On March 30, the We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria coalition criticised Radev’s choice of Glavchev, with outgoing Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov saying that Glavchev “with all my respect for him, is part of the nomenclature of GERB”.

“There is no way to pretend that it has nothing to do with GERB,” Denkov said.

Denkov was adamant that what is expected from the caretaker cabinet, according to the constitution, is to hold fair elections.

This, of course, will also depend a lot on the composition of the cabinet, especially the interior and e-government ministers, Denkov said.

(Photo: president.bg)

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