First Tripartite Gov't Consultations Kick Off in Bulgaria's Parliament
A meeting of conservative GERB, right-wing RB and nationalist PF, until recently tipped to form the next Bulgarian government, has begun in Parliament.
At an unprecedented meeting, the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), the Reformist Bloc (RB) and the Patriotic Front (PF) will try to smooth out their differences, most Bulgarian media outlets say citing officials from all three entities.
The three-way talks come against the backdrop of tensions between the parties fueled by GERB's decision to rule out the inclusion of PF in the next Bulgarian government.
Conservatives' leader Boyko Borisov announced minutes after meeting European People's Party (EPP) Group Chairman Joseph Daul that nationalists had become unacceptable due to their "anti-European" stance on various issues.
Just days ago consultations with the PF's co-Chairmen Valeri Simeonov and Krasimir Karakachanov had clearly indicated the two entities were determined to shake hands.
The PF however also backtracked, returning to its earlier position it could not send politicians, but only experts (not from the coalition) to a new government as politicians would not be competent enough.
Reformists for their part insist the three parties should jointly form the next cabinet to secure parliamentary majority. They also maintain a minority cabinet would require support from the liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), dominated by ethnic Turks, a party which they believe should in no way be involved in governance.
After meeting Daul Borisov declared the only option to form a cabinet was a GERB-RB minority coalition, a proposal the latter rejected, prompting GERB's leader to announce he could form a minority cabinet on his own, with ministers only from his party.
Reformists now have a deadline until Monday to decide on their participation in a minority cabinet, GERB announced on Wednesday evening.
During the consultations scheduled for 14:00 EET in the National Assembly, Tomislav Donchev, a former minister in charge of EU funds management, Rumyana Bachvarova and Menda Stoyanova will be GERB's negotiating team.
PF co-head Simeonov is to represent the nationalist alliance, while Reformists will send the leaders of the three biggest parties within the bloc - Meglena Kuneva, Radan Kanev and Bozhidar Lukarski.
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