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Bulgarian Ex-PM Borissov Fails to Create New Ruling Coalition

Bulgaria’s new parliament will convene on Wednesday for the first time but Boyko Borissov, former premier and GERB party leader, said his attempt to put together a coalition government has been unsuccessful.

Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, leader of GERB, which won the most votes in this month’s election, told local media on Tuesday that coalition talks had not been fruitful.

“This is not fair to the nation, to the people,” said Borissov.

He argued that it would be a waste of time to give the mandate to major opponents We Continue the Change as their chances to put together a coalition are even smaller.

“There can’t be any stability if the first two parties don’t take some responsibility.” Borissov added.

He said that there is a chance for the parties to agree on a new “expert cabinet” to lead Bulgaria through the winter.

“We’re ready to accept all kinds of compromises,” he said.

Since the snap elections on October 2, Borissov has been making overtures to ex-premier Kiril Petkov’s We Continue the Change party who were most recently in power but were ousted by the opposition led by GERB.

However, We Continue the Change only reconfirmed its position as an opponent to Borissov’s often controversial governance and has declined having any meetings with GERB.

Despite expectations that GERB might put together a cabinet with pro-Moscow far-righters Revival and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Borissov took a different tack by calling for a “Euro-Atlantic alliance” to stand strong against Russian meddling.

His call was rejected by the pro-EU We Continue the Change and its closest ally Democratic Bulgaria, who have long seen Bulgaria’s geo-political confusion as part of Borissov’s legacy.

The failure to agree a coalition could lead to Bulgaria’s fifth elections in less than two years.

GERB won in April 2021 despite widespread protests against Borissov’s governance, then There’s Such a Nation took the popular vote in July 2021, only to make way for We Continue the Change in November 2021.

Petkov’s party managed to secure a majority but in June this year, his reformist coalition was ousted and GERB made a comeback in the polls in early October.

The prospects for Petkov to create a coalition are also modest.

Apart from Democratic Bulgaria and possibly the Bulgarian Socialist Party, who were in his first cabinet despite various ideological differences including their response to the war in Ukraine, Petkov would need a fourth ally to gain a majority.

The only option would be Bulgarian Rise, a new party founded by Bulgaria’s former Defence Minister who is in tune with the Kremlin’s rhetoric. Petkov has not commented in recent days on the prospects of forming a cabinet if GERB is unable to do so.

On Wednesday, the newly-elected parliament, which includes seven parties, will hold its first session in the National Assembly in Sofia.

Source: Balkan Sight