Bulgaria's DPS 'Might Keep Gov't Mandate' - Socialist Group Chair
Bulgarian socialists' Parliament chief said Monday it was "likely" that liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) could decide not to return a mandate to form a government.
Atanas Merdzhanov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP)'s Parliament group, told the Bulgarian National Radio that the DPS, a coalition partner in the outgoing socialist-led government, could decide to use te mandate that it is due to receive from President Rosen Plevneliev on Wednesday.
He cited current "cooperation" between the DPS and GERB (the latter being the opposition in the acting Parliament) as a factor behind such a potential development.
Over the past few days leaders of political parties have consecutively been handed a mandate to form a government at Bulgaria's Presidency, with both GERB and BSP having declined to do so.
The procedure was triggered after Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski resigned on Wednesday.
Under a previous agreement between parties, none of the parliamentary groups is to seek to forge a cabinet so that a fast-track procedure leading to the dissolution of Parliament and the appointment of a caretaker government on August 6.
The outgoing "Oresharski" cabinet stepped down after relations with junior partner DPS soared in June.
Center-right GERB, on the other hand, is considered to have improved its relations with the DPS in March, when leaders Boyko Borisov and Lyutvi Mestan had a "cup of coffee", a widely discussed event after years of tensions. Until then conservatives had blamed liberals for Bulgaria's most serious problems, especially at the beginning of their term in office in 2009.
Just hours after the BSP's National Congress at which Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov was elected Chairman of the party, Merdzhanov announced it was not yet clear whether the socialists would run alone in the elections or would use the "Coalition for Bulgaria" formula applied previously.
Sergey Stanishev renounced his Chair position at the BSP after the Congress, but retained his presidency at the Coalition for Bulgaira, a BSP-led group of parties set up for electoral purposes.