Bulgaria: Mixed start to GERB-UDF’s talks on forming a government

The first of two days of talks hosted by a negotiating team of Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition on the formation of an elected government produced a mixed start, with only the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) appearing for a meeting on June 17.

The talks were held a day after the Central Electoral Commission announced the names of MPs elected to Bulgaria’s 50th National Assembly in the June 9 early elections, in which GERB-UDF won the most seats and thus the right to be the first to receive a mandate to seek to form a government.

Borissov said last week that his group would invite all other groups for negotiations, with a GERB-UDF team made up of Raya Nazaryan, Temenuzka Petkova and Denitsa Sacheva.

GERB-UDF scheduled talks on June 17, on the basis of descending order of size of the other parliamentary groups, with the MRF, We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria (WCC-DB) and pro-Kremlin pary Vuzrazhdane.

It has invited the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), populist ITN and populist-nationalist Velichie for talks on June 18.

WCC-DB declined the invitation, saying that it would be a constructive opposition and did not believe that GERB-UDF’s approach could lead to a government that works in the interests of the country.

Vuzrazhdane also declined the invitation, repeating that it could only support a government proposed on the basis of a mandate it held.

Sacheva, speaking after the talks with the MRF – the party’s delegation was made up of Yordan Tsonev, Iskra Mihailova, Stanislav Anastasov, Erten Anisova, Bajram Bajram and Elvan Gyurkas, with MRF co-leader Delyan Peevski not preent – said that the Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament would be from GERB.

GERB-UDF is negotiating for a government with a four-year term in office, Sacheva said.

“We are talking about a government that is of shared responsibility and a document that we will eventually propose will be based on this principle – a government of shared responsibility about certain policies,” she said.

She said that GERB-UDF and the MRF saw similarities in their programs regarding the main priorities for the country.

Borislav Gutsanov, elected by the BSP on June 15 as the leader of its parliamentary group, said that the BSP would not negotiate with GERB on the formation of a government, the party’s congress having made a decision not to support a GERB government.

“If the conversation will be about the work of the National Assembly, it is normal to have such a dialogue,” Gutsanov said.

Nikolai Markov, leader of Velichie, told Bulgarian National Radio that he would not talk to the GERB negotiating team about forming a new cabinet.

“It’s offensive to me to talk to contact groups, I don’t know how others don’t find it offensive. Borissov is the leader and I want to listen to him. Nazaryan and Temenuzhka are not leaders, they could offer me the cleaning lady at GERB to meet tomorrow,” Markov said.

(Photo: parliament.bg)

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