New Elections in Bulgaria? GERB Declines DPS Negotiation Request for Second Mandate

Politics | July 10, 2024, Wednesday // 16:26|  views

Borissov (left) and Peevski (right)

Boyko Borissov, chairman of the GERB parliamentary group, has formally declined the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) invitation to negotiate forming a government with the second mandate. In his letter, Borissov reaffirmed GERB's position of not supporting a second mandate under any circumstances. The stance remains consistent even for the third term.

Borissov's letter acknowledges DPS's efforts as the second political force to form a cabinet within the 50th National Assembly but cites significant differences and opposition among parliamentary groups as obstacles to establishing a stable government. He emphasized the need for political maturity in the upcoming election campaign, seeing it as essential for forming a government in the next National Assembly.

DPS's parliamentary group chairman, Delyan Peevski, mentioned that despite knowing there was no interest in a second term, they felt obliged to their voters. DPS sent letters to other pro-European parties to discuss the second mandate, excluding the pro-Russian party "Revival" (Vazrazhdane) from the invitations. DPS has given a deadline until the end of the day for other political forces in the National Assembly to respond.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), "There Is Such a People" (TISP), and "Revival" have refused to support the DPS as a mandate holder but have pledged to make every effort in the last attempt to form a cabinet. They differ on the governing formula: "Revival" advocates for an "all against GERB and DPS" strategy and will refuse to participate in negotiations if another party receives the third mandate. "There Is Such a People" proposes an expert cabinet, while the BSP calls for a government of national salvation and will not support a cabinet with a second mandate.

"We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria" (WCC-DB) still lacks a unified position on the third-term cabinet. Two of its parties, DSB and "Yes, Bulgaria," seek to propose a technical and programmatic government, respectively. However, "We Continue the Change" maintains that a majority for anti-corruption governance cannot be achieved in this parliament. After failing to reach an agreement in a recent parliamentary group meeting, coalition leaders are meeting today to try to finalize their stance.

Vice President Iliyana Yotova stated that the presidency is closely monitoring the political process to determine when to hand out the second exploratory mandate for forming a government. Meanwhile, the Sofia City Court has removed Kornelia Ninova as the BSP chairwoman and appointed Atanas Zafirov as the acting chairman.

What's next?

Hours before the deadline to respond to the DPS's invitation to negotiate a second term, it is evident that it will fail. All other formations in the 50th National Assembly have refused to sit down with DPS co-chairman Delyan Peevski to discuss governance and have instead shifted their focus to the third mandate.

Negotiations for the third mandate are still pending, with many parties interested in receiving it. However, before this can happen, the leadership of the DPS must appear at the presidency to collect the second mandate folder from President Rumen Radev and officially return it unfulfilled. The timing for this is not yet known, but according to Vice President Iliana Yotova, "the best date will be chosen to preserve the national interest." The delay is due to the head of state preparing for a possible failure of the third mandate and seeking the most reasonable date for early elections.

Meanwhile, political forces are preparing for new elections despite expressing readiness to create a workable governing formula with the third mandate. Unofficially, representatives from various formations admit that forming a cabinet with the third mandate is unlikely, and they are planning to use the remaining time in parliament to their advantage, acknowledging that they may work without achieving significant outcomes.

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Tags: Borissov, GERB, government, DPS


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