GERB Declines DPS’ Offer of Support for Minority Government
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) on Tuesday reiterated its opposition to any minority government coalition comprising nationalist parties in Bulgaria’s parliament.
Following consultations with centre-right GERB party over formation of government, mainly ethnic Turk-supported DPS stated that it will firmly oppose any ruling coalition comprising what it described as nationalist and xenophobic parties.
GERB, led by former premier Boyko Borisov, won most votes in October 5 early election but remained short of absolute majority in the 240-seat parliament, which is forcing it to seek allies among smaller parties to forge a governing coalition. GERB has 84 seats, while DPS is the third-biggest political force with 38 seats.
Consultations between GERB and the Socialists, the second-largest group with 39 seats, on Monday failed to produce an agreement for joint government and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) said it will be opposition to GERB.
The Patriotic Front (19 seats) is a touch less nationalist than Ataka party (11 seats), has been widely tipped by political analysts as a likely partner in a tripartite GERB-led government coalition with right-wing Reformist Bloc (23 seats).
Commenting on accusations that DPS had partnered with nationalist Ataka party in the previous parliament to back the Socialist-led cabinet of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, Yordan Tzonev from DPS said on Tuesday after the consultations with GERB that no formal partnership deal between DPS and Ataka had been signed.
Rumyana Bachvarova from GERB said the party would not forge an anti-DPS coalition and opined that DPS should be granted a pause in government. She also said that the dialogue between GERB and DPS should continue,
Referring to the budget update proposed by the current caretaker cabinet, Tsonev who headed the budget committee in the previous parliament, said that DPS would support it only after a thorough inspection to make certain the updated figures reflect the actual state of public finances.
Maintaining the stability of Bulgaria’s banking system and repayment of state-guaranteed deposits at troubled KTB bank emerged as the least controversial issues, said Menda Stoyanova, who was also part of GERB’s delegation at the consultations.
She also said GERB and DPS have agreed an audit of the bank by foreign experts is needed as well as changes in the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) Law that will open the way for replacement of the BNB leadership. BNB has been widely blamed by depositors in KTB as well as financial experts for perceived inaction in the KTB case
Other areas of agreement between GERB and DPS included adherence to Bulgaria’s commitments as an EU and NATO member, spurring economic growth and investments, implementation of large infrastructure projects, and the need to regain the trust of the European Commission with regard to resumption of blocked payments under several operational programmes.
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