Bulgaria's President Willing to Give Reformist Bloc Mandate to Form GovtDomestic | December 2, 2016, Friday // 21:26| views
File photo, EPA/BGNES
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has said he has a strong preference for giving the Reformist Bloc coalition a mandate to form a government.
Plevneliev, in an interview with the public broadcaster's Panorama, has put an end to speculation that he intends on giving the nationalist Patriotic Front coalition a chance to form a government later in December.
I cannot give the mandate to a party that contradicts EU values, he has told Panorama.
On Tuesday, he said he would give a mandate to the political force showing desire to form a cabinet.
Plevneliev is due to hand a mandate to the socialist BSP party, the second-largest political force, next Wednesday. However, socialists have said they will return the mandate. The President is determined to work for a new administration within the current Parliament without the need to call an early election.
He has also hinted the Reformist Bloc is fit to deal with the complicated international environment and the need for Bulgaria to embrace Western values and take a side.
"I don't see the middle path. In these hard times, you are either with the West or with the East. You can't get along with both," he has said, in an apparent reference to demands from a number of politicians, including his successor Rumen Radev, that Bulgaria should restore economic relations with Russia.
While supporting free trade with all countries, he has insisted political relations should be based on values.
Plevneliev has called on outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to nominate the next EU Commissioner of the country, hours after Borisov argued that should be done by an interim cabinet.
"How do you imagine that an interim government appointed by me will nominate me for European Commissioner?" the head of state has replied when asked whether he will be Bulgaria's nominee.
"I am the President, not a Commission candidate."