Enough Of This Farce Already!
It's been almost a month since Bulgaria held its early elections on October 5, but a new government is still nowhere in sight.
Considering the fragmentation of the new National Assembly and the historically low voter turnout, it was expected that the formation of a new government will be subject to lengthy negotiations and many compromises.
The endless horse trading, inconsistency and verbal exchanges through the media, however, are already turning into a low-class farce.
Against the background of Bulgaria's economic troubles, problems in the banking sector, eroded trust in the state institutions and urgent need of profound reforms, this only deepens the cynicism and desperation of the public.
The politicians, however, are behaving like toddlers fighting for toys at the playground and are looking for all kinds of excuses to continue endlessly with the haggling.
One would wonder what their motives are.
Possibly they hope to exasperate the public to the point where the worst case scenario – yet another round of early elections – becomes more palatable. A much different outcome of eventual new elections, however, is rather dubious. - The results from the European elections and from the parliamentary elections, roughly five months apart, are not considerably different.
Probably the only considerable difference would be the voter turnout. And I am afraid it will be lower than the 49% in the October elections. This would add more weight to the bought and the corporate vote and would lead to the further erosion of trust in institutions and democracy. If this is the goal, then it will be achieved.
Another motives are ego and fear. It is no secret that the GERB leader Boyko Borisov is rather egocentric and doesn't like to share things, least of all power. After the early 2013 elections, he threw in the towel, because his party didn't have the majority in Parliament. It seems increasingly likely that in 2014 he might do just the same, especially considering that his party has even less seats in the National Assembly.
He is not stupid and is aware that the new government, headed by him, will probably remain in history as one of the most disliked. Reforms are badly needed and reforms are seldom liked by the general public. Remember Ivan Kostov – he is still, hands down, the most hated man in modern Bulgarian politics. Being egocentric, Borisov is afraid he will also be disliked, and he certainly would hate that.
On another hand, there is the Reformist Bloc (RB). A loose coalition of parties with erratic behaviour. They ran on the platform of reforms, honesty and ending of the backroom scheming in politics, but are increasingly entangled in haggling – among themselves and with GERB – for power and influence.
They came fourth in the elections, but remain the most logical partner of GERB in forming a government. Certainly some of their voters would be disappointed if the RB get involved with GERB, but this is the only responsible behaviour in the situation.
The most obvious explanation for their inconsistency, besides the apparent disunity, is fear. - Fear of loosing the support of their voters for getting involved with GERB and being dragged down in the mire.
Certainly there may be a whole different reason for the entire 20-plus day farce, but it is high time that the involved parties finally leave their egos and fears aside, man up, form a government and face the music.
Entering a vicious circle of elections every year would be detrimental.
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