June 23. 2024. 12:59

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Borissov presents options to get Bulgaria out of political crisis

To end the spiralling political crisis in Bulgaria, Boyko Borissov, the former prime minister and leader of parliament’s biggest party GERB, is proposing to form a pro-European coalition with parliament’s second force, Change Continues-Democratic Bulgaria, and, if this does not work, he is calling on parliament to elect the caretaker government.

If a pro-European coalition cannot be formed, GERB proposes to have parliament elect the caretaker government, as this would not dissolve parliament and ensure it can continue working.

Indeed, if the executive is elected, it will give time for parliament to work to pass the state budget – debates and a vote that would likely last up to two months.

On Wednesday, the newly elected Bulgarian parliament gathered for the first time but failed to elect a speaker during its first session. This is a sign that the way out of the crisis is still a long way off.

On 2 April, Bulgarians voted in the fifth general election for the last two years, but the result does not portend easy decisions. GERB does not have many useful options to form a government with its 26.5% because Borissov’s party is placed under an anti-corruption quarantine by the other major pro-Western formation – Change continues – Democratic Bulgaria (24.5%).

In this context, Western pressure is increasing on these two political formations to elect a joint government because of the growing threat from the pro-Russian populist party Vazrazhdane, the third political force in the country with 14.1%.

For the past two years, Bulgaria has been governed mostly by caretaker governments appointed by President Rumen Radev, who opposes Western military aid to Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the work of the new Bulgarian parliament began just like the old one, which was dissolved two months ago.

However, MPs failed to elect a speaker as only two parties proposed their candidates – former minister Rosen Zhelyazkov for GERB and Petar Petrov for Vazrazhdane. The remaining political forces did not nominate their candidates.

At the moment, GERB’s efforts are focused on finding a way to work together with parliament’s second force, Change continues-Democratic Bulgaria, which previously decided not to support a government with the participation of GERB.

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)