Ognyan Minchev: Too Early to Say GERB-RB Talks Have Failed
It’s too early to claim that talks between GERB and the Reformist Bloc on forming a government coalition were a failure, a leading Bulgarian political scientist has said.
“This is the first phase of the negotiations that gives a vent to tensions accumulated over a long period of time,” Ognyan Minchev, who is also board chairman of Transparency without Borders association, said on Nova TV station.
“Obviously, GERB are trying to find out whether joining forces with part of the Reformist Bloc will be more advantageous to them – which is not difficult at all to do, as we know – or it’s worth negotiating with the entire Reformist Bloc. I think options for forming a government are still being tested and pressure is being exercised,” said Minchev.
According to him, an agreement for joint government between GERB, RB and the nationalist Patriotic Front (PF) coalition will be the healthiest political formula but relations between a small ethnic Turk party, which is part of the Reformist Bloc, and the PF is likely to be a problem.
The Reformist Bloc is aiming to boost transparency in Bulgarian politics and do away with what has become known as behind-the-scenes way of government associated mainly with ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) but only “a strong and integrated majority and a government led by very courageous people’’ can do that, Minchev opined.
“We don’t have exactly that situation at the moment,” he added.
It will be very difficult to get rid of the political model of governing by pulling the strings behind the scenes – a model “that has been corrupting the Bulgarian state for the past 20 years,” Minchev commented.
“DPS is the political face of what is called “The Corporation”. Currently, DPS is in a phase of political retreat, it is taking a step back to be able to take a series of corporate steps ahead with the help of any majority [in Parliament] that couldn’t allow itself to do anything else.
After more than six hours of consultations on Wednesday, centre-right GERB and right-wing RB, a loose coalition of several small parties failed to agree on forming a government. GERB, which won most votes in October 5 early elections but remained short of outright majority, has started consultations with other parties that made it to the new Parliament on forging a government coalition.
The Socialists (BSP) and the liberal DPS, which will be the second-and third-biggest groups in Parliament, said after consultations with GERB earlier this week they will not enter a coalition with the party led by former premier Boyko Borisov.
GERB will have 84 of the 240 seats in Parliament, while RB will have the fourth-biggest group in the chamber with 23 seats. Political analysts have tipped RB as a likely partner of GERB in a government coalition based on similarities in their election programmes.
Tsetska Tsacheva from GERB’s consultation team told journalists on Wednesday it was impossible to form a government comprising only GERB and the RB. Rumyana Bachvarova, member of the GERB executive committee said they were not sure if they could count on the RB for support.
Petar Moskov of the RB said the coalition was willing to continue negotiations with GERB and make compromises on some matters.
On Thursday, GERB will hold talks on forming a government with representatives of the Patriotic Front, which will have 19 seats in Parliament.
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