Bulgaria's President Refuses to Appoint Own Interim Govt
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has categorically declined to appoint his own interim cabinet after the elected government resigned in November.
Instead, Plevneliev has said he stands ready to put his approval stamp on any caretaker administration proposed by his successor, President-elect Rumen Radev.
"I propose to appoint the interim government of President Radev. Moreover, Mr Radev has announced he is ready with his interim government."
In a televised address aired two hours after being handed back the mandate to form a government, Plevneliev has said he is committed to signing a decree to appoint Radev's proposed government whenever the latter comes to his office to give him a proposal.
Radev assumes office on January 22. It will be under his tenure that an interim government will be able to organize the next early election as the sitting President is unable to dissolve Parliament and set a date. Radev, however, will also be able to dismiss the cabinet appointed by Plevneliev and form one on his own.
During his five-year term, Plevneliev has already appointed two caretaker administrations.
In the address, he has made it clear he would not hesitate to create a third one if it were to remain in office more than a month.
There is no point in having an interim government that would only work around Christmas and New Eve, he has argued.
"It is the best thing of us to have a smooth transition from a regular government to an interim one, and then from an interim government to an elected one. The transition between two caretaker governments, one of which worked [only] during holidays, is an exceptionally risky process of breaking away with institutional memory."
"By having two interim governments in a month, we will make fun of ourselves... Two presidents, each one with his own interim government - this is a symbol of division."
Initially, Radev had agreed to draft the caretaker government's lineup together with Plevneliev so that it is appointed by the sitting President but also enjoys the approval of the elected successor. However, he later backtracked.
The incumbent head of state has denied shunning responsibility through this offer.
"Since the first day I was President, I have never violated the rule of law... [After Prime Minister Borisov's resignation] I offered all options for compromise - a new government within this Parliament, a solidarity with Radev on a new interim government."
The other option on the table was to keep the government in resignation in office until Radev takes over, Plevneliev has admitted.
All members of the outgoing cabinet have backed Plevneliev's move, with some describing it as an example of "statesmanship".
Opposition parties, however, have lashed out at him, with ABV leader and Plevneliev's predecessor Georgi Parvanov accusing him of a "blatant violatuion of the Constition" and calling on him to resign.
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