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site.btaPresident Holds Consultations before Asking Parliamentary Forces to Form Cabinet

President Holds Consultations before Asking Parliamentary Forces to Form Cabinet
President Holds Consultations before Asking Parliamentary Forces to Form Cabinet
President Rumen Radev on the first day of consultations with the political forces in the 50th National Assembly, June 24, 2024 (BTA Photo/Blagoi Kirilov)

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev Monday started meeting with the parliamentary groups in the new legislature as a step towards the formation of a government. He met with representatives of the three largest groups: GERB-UDF, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria (CC-DB). The key takeaway from the talks is that GERB is skeptical about the formation of a Cabinet and its leader Boyko Borissov mentioned a minority government of GERB as an option. MRF reconfirmed support for a GERB government and CC-DB remained determined to be in opposition.

The election of Raya Nazaryan MP of GERB-UDF as Parliament Chair on June 20, of her deputies from the seven parliamentary groups and the formation of the groups opened the way to the constitutional procedure leading to the formation of a cabinet. GERB-UDF leader Borissov wants what he calls "a cabinet of shared responsibility" and said the only chance to have a government is with the first mandate and GERB-UDF must name the prime minister and the foreign and defence ministers. He is adamant that he will not form a cabinet with MRF alone. MRF leader Delyan Peevski called for "a Euro-Atlantic government" on the first mandate and CC-DB have been adamant that they will not negotiate on cabinet formation and will be in opposition. 

The first two government mandates are bound to go to the two largest groups in Parliament, first to GERB-UDF and then, if it fails, to MRF. Under the Constitution, if they fail to form a government, the President mandates a third parliamentary group at his discretion. If it fails too, a caretaker government is appointed and parliamentary elections are scheduled within two months.

At the start of the meeting with the President, GERB leader Boyko Borissov said there seemed to be no way to form a government; that any government can only be possible on GERB's mandate; that a minority government is an option; that new snap elections are bad for the country; that he does not plan to be the Prime Minister; and that it would be best if CC-DB support a government on GERB's mandate in a pay-back gesture.

In May 2023, GERB agreed to take a step back and decline the mandate to form a government, and accepted the formation of a rotational Cabinet dominated by CC-DB.

After the consultations with Rumen Radev, CC-DB Floor Leader Nikolay Denkov said that CC-DB owes nothing to Borissov, that Borissov owes Bulgarian people the formation of a government; and that CC-DB is determined to be in opposition. He also said that there is no division in the CC-DB ranks and that the coalition have full agreement in their assessment of the political situation and what the next steps should be. According to Denkov, "everything possible should be done to fulfill the first or second mandate".

According to MRF, supporting the government mandate of the election winner would be "the logical thing to do", to use the words of MRF deputy floor leader Yordan Tsonev after the consultations with the President. MRF urged the President to mediate and persuade political parties of the need for a workable resolution, emphasizing that elections should be a measure of last resort, not the first. "Election results clearly show people do not want new elections. They want a stable political process and a majority that addresses their problems", he said.

The next meetings

The consultations of the President are scheduled to continue on Tuesday, June 25. He will be meeting first with Vazrazhdane at 9:00 a.m. and with BSP for Bulgaria at 11 a.m.  

There are two more parties in Parliament, TISP and Velichie, but no date has been set for them as yet. 

 

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By 17:09 on 22.07.2024 Today`s news

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