Borissov: I will not be GERB-UDF’s candidate Prime Minister

GERB-UDF leader Boiko Borissov told a news conference on June 13 that he would not be his coalition’s candidate Prime Minister.

Borissov was speaking in his first lengthy comments following GERB-UDF winning the largest share of votes, 24.7 per cent, in Bulgaria’s June 9 2024 early parliamentary elections.

As the winner of the largest share of votes, GERB-UDF is entitled by the constitution to be the first parliamentary group to receive a mandate to seek to form a government.

Borissov said that he was inviting the leaders of the six other parliamentary groups to talks on June 17 on the formation of a government.

“There will be a government if the Prime minister is from GERB. I will not be a candidate, so that we can calm down the possibilities for negotiations,” Borissov said.

A negotiating team of Temenuzka Petkova, Raya Nazaryan and Denitsa Sacheva will hold talks with the others in the 50th National Assembly the steps to forming a cabinet, he said.

Borissov indicated that he would propose an “expert” government and that it was not an option for GERB-UDF to propose a minority government backed by other parliamentary groups.

He insisted that the Prime Minister should be from GERB-UDF, which should also hold other key ministries. Borissov cited the foreign affairs and defence ministries.

Borissov’s talk of an “expert” government is a change from GERB-UDF’s message on the election campaign trail, when the coalition insisted on a government made up of prominent political figures.

Borissov also said that GERB-UDF would not have a coalition with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms without there being a third partner.

Earlier this week, MRF co-leader Delyan Peevski called on Borissov to begin talks on a formula to achieve a stable government.

“I call on the leaders of all Euro-Atlantic parties: be responsible leaders and do not all your personal or party emotions and interests to be placed above the State’s interests. The fears and avoidance of responsibility are not a solution,” Peevski said.

On June 13, in a joint video, We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria co-leader Kiril Petkov and former prime minister Nikolai Denkov, of WCC-DB, said that no matter what government Borissov proposed, WCC-DB would be in opposition.

According to Petkov, WCC will be a clear and constructive opposition, supporting all policies that are “for” Europe and “against” corruption.

“We will fight against every moment of corruption or every incident of corruption or theft, and we will do everything possible so that our reforms that we have pledged and dreamed of continue,” Petkov said.

Vuzrazhdane, which is to be the fourth-largest group in the 50th National Assembly, has said that it regarded the only option as a government proposed on the basis of a mandate it held.

Vuzrazhdane leader Kostadin Kostadinov said earlier this week that there were only two possible scenarios, the formation of a government that will postpone the inevitable end of those involved in it, or no government and new early parliamentary elections in October or November.

Viktoria Vassileva, of Velichie, which will be the seventh and smallest group in the 50th National Assembly, ruled out the party supporting a government on the basis of a mandate held by GERB-UDF or the MRF.

“I do not think that a government of GERB of DPS will be something good and useful for the country,” Vassileva told Bulgarian National Television on June 13.

She said that there is no such term as “expert government”.

“What does an expert government mean? There is no such animal. Whatever the government is, no matter how far it is from all parties, it has a political mandate, it implements policy. Politics cannot be only expert,” she said.

(Boiko Borissov speaks to reporters on June 13. Photo: Screenshot via Bulgarian National Television live broadcast)

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