Bulgaria's Socialists Return Govt Mandate to President
The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has handed back the mandate to form a new government and lead the country out of the current Parliamentary crisis.
"I will not use the opportunity [to form a cabinet," Ninova has said before handing out a statement to Plevneliev to confirm the decision.
Ninova is accompanied by two core BSP members, Angel Naydenov and Zhelyo Boychev.
The party would name Ninova herself as the Prime Minister candidate if the BSP decided to form a govenrment.
Plevneliev has also invited a BSP delegation to stay at the presidency for brief talks on the political situation.
Korneliya Ninova, who heads Bulgaria's second-largest political force, met President Rosen Plevneliev at his office at 10:00 local time (EET). It took her less than a minute to return the mandate.
Her party had repeatedly said it will return the mandate, paving the way for an early election.
The President may now hand the mandate to one more party or coalition of his own choice, among those represented in Parliament.
So far he has voiced his preference for the Reformist Bloc (RB) coalition, following days of speculation whether he would choose the Patriotic Front, a nationalist alliance.
After three parliamentary forces fail to form a new cabinet within the current legislature, the President will have to appoint an interim government. His successor Rumen Radev will dissolve Parliament (Plevneliev is not entitled to this towards the end of his term) and call an early election.
Another widely discussed option involves keeping the outgoing government of Boyko Borisov in office until Radev takes over on January 22, instead of appointing an interim cabinet that may remain in office just a few weeks (with Radev having the right to make changes or appoint a new caretaker administration that will organize the election).
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