Another Key Coalition Partner to Decide on Support for Bulgaria's Govt
Tensions are growing among Bulgarian politicians as Bulgaria for Citizens Movement (DBG), a one of the main parties of junior coalition partner Reformist Bloc (RB), is to decide whether to withdraw its support for the government.
This follows a decision by another RB party, Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DBG), to move to opposition. On Saturday DSB, whose leader Radan Kanev declared himself an opposition MP after the resignation of Hristo Ivanov as Justice Minister, said it was not backing the government anymore but its member Petar Moskov would remain in office as Health Minister.
DBG, DSB, and the Union for Democratic Forces (SDS) are the backbone of the Reformist Bloc. SDS announced it would not leave the cabinet or renounce support for it, but a decision by DBG to walk out would put stability of the governing coalition into question.
Latest developments also come as Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is set to appoint a new Justice Minister, with both his GERB party and the RB said to have different candidates.
Former Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB Deputy Chair, has not ruled out a scenario in which DBG leader and Deputy PM Meglena Kuneva could take over as Justice Minister.
Separately, Borisov has accused Radan Kanev of using tensions that emerged over the judicial reform as a pretext to kickstart a campaign for next year's presidential elections (Kanev has not made clear yet if he is to run).
Kanev for his part has repeatedly declared over the past few days that the RB is consistently failing to act as a unified political player and is bringing disappointment to voters, with its core parties often disagreeing on key legislation.
On Sunday he reiterated his support for ex-Minister Ivanov, stressing the importance of the rule of law for statehood. Ivanov stepped down after Parliament amended his proposals for judicial reform. After announcing his resignation he alleged that lawmakers' vote had shown the overarching influence of the Chief Prosecutor over the Bulgarian government.
MPs had agreed in the summer on a package of proposed legislative and constitutional amendments that would result in a more efficient political control on the judiciary and would curb powers of the Chief Prosecutor. Some of the texts relating to the prosecution, however, were not passed in Parliament. Radan Kanev had been the most fervent proponent and supporter of Hristo Ivanov's proposals and submitted an additional set of proposals to reform the Prosecutor's Office earlier last week.
Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov, however, blamed kanev for not genuinely willing to carry out a judicial reform and using it to merely send a political message.
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