Bulgarian President Delays Giving Mandate to Ethnic Turks

Domestic | March 1, 2013, Friday // 09:01|  views

Bulgaria's President, Rosen Plevneliev, announced the snap election will be held on May 12. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's President, Rosen Plevneliev, has postponed for March 5 giving the mandate to the ethnic Turkish party, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, to form an interim government.

At the beginning of the week, Plevneliev publically announced he would do the above on March 1.

His press office distributed the change of schedule without an explanation for the reasons behind it.

The party has already declared they refuse to participate in an interim government, prompting many to question the President's decision and his motives.

On February 21, the Parliament approved the resignation of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and his center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, amidst unprecedented since 1997 protest rallies against unbearable utility bills, monopolies and wide-spread poverty that turned into a civil unrest against the political model of ruling the country.

According to article 111 of the Bulgarian Constitution, after consultations with the parliamentary groups, the President assigns the largest group the task to appoint a Cabinet within a 7-day deadline. If this fails, then the President does the same with the second largest group.

The largest group in the Parliament is the one of Borisov's GERB; the second largest is the group of the left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP. Both have already turned down the mandate.

When the second group declines, then the mandate is given to a third group of the President's choice. If all three groups decline, the President must appoint a caretaker government, and then, with one single decree, dissolve the Parliament and schedule a new general election no later than two months after the termination of the powers of the last government.

The caretaker government's term is up to two months as well, with its main task being the organization of snap election.

On Thursday, Plevneliev announced the snap election will be held on May 12.

Since the fall of Communism, Bulgaria has had two caretaker governments – in 1994 and in 1997.

Meanwhile, Bulgarians are organizing themselves to hold another nationwide protest on March 3, the day Bulgaria celebrates its liberation from Ottoman rule.

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