President to Mandate GERB Next Week to Form Government

President to Mandate GERB Next Week to Form Government

Sofia, April 19 (BTA) - President Rumen Radev will present the first exploratory government-forming mandate to the GERB party next week. Speaking to journalists on Wednesday ahead of the first sitting of the new National Assembly, Radev said he expects that GERB, which controls the largest group in the new legislature, will put together a government by the beginning of May. The President pledged to work constructively with the cabinet, which will be the third one headed by Boyko Borissov as Prime Minister.

Radev will begin consultations with the parliamentary groups as soon as they are registered and announced, which he expects will happen in the coming days.

He noted that the new legislature has very important tasks on its busy agenda. He hopes the MPs will achieve serious results.

Radev was asked by a journalist whether he will urge the National Assembly to consider the establishment of a new "residence qualifications" rule which could keep Bulgarians abroad from voting in Bulgarian parliamentary and presidential elections in addition to local and European elections. He responded by saying: "This parliament, together with the government and the other institutions, should decide what kind of country Bulgaria will be in terms of national security guarantees. Whether we will continue to be a country susceptible to foreign influences, or whether we will have legislation that raises barriers - this is the big question and it does not matter what foreign country we are referring to. We need to decide whether we will be a country which does not allow the registration of ethnic parties engineered from the outside, a country which takes care of its own religious communities by protecting them from external influences. If we really take care of our Armed Forces and make sure they do not decay right in front of us, if we use all available mechanisms for collective defence and work actively within the EU and NATO, it will not matter who votes in elections, and where. This calls for responsible and efficient legislative, organizational, and financial actions."

The President argued that if the government undertakes to finance all religious communities and places of worship in Bulgaria, this will cost between 15 million and 17 million leva annually. "We should leave it to Parliament and the government to judge whether it is worthwhile for Bulgaria to spend that money," he said.

Discussing the result of last Sunday's constitutional referendum in Turkey, the Bulgarian President said: "I respect the right of all nations, including the people of Turkey, to choose their own constitutional system and type of government. Non-interference in the other's affairs is the most important guarantee of good neighbourly relations. The issue is not so much about Turkey, where we see disturbing signs and dynamic processes - the real issue is how we look at our own security from within." This is what the President expects from the new cabinet and Parliament.

He expressed hope that the government will serve out a full four-year term, because, he said, Bulgaria needs stability.

Source: Sofia