Bulgarian PM's Party to Seek from Members Advice on Future Coalition
GERB, the main party in Bulgaria's outgoing government, will ask some thousands of its members on the coalition policy it should pursue after the early election due this spring.
Emailed polls will require of more than 20 000 GERB members to have a say on which the party's "natural partners" are, according to daily 24 Chasa.
The poll will be anonymous. It will include a range of parties from across the political spectrum, not leaving out the outgoing coalition partners - the nationalist alliance Patriotic Front (but under its new format of United Patriots) or the right-wing Reformist Bloc.
The list will also feature smaller organizations such as the New Alternative party of former Defense Minister Nikolay Tsonev and Glas Naroden ("Vox Populi") of rock star and municipal councillor Svetlyo Vitkov.
The new projects of Hristo Ivanov, the former Justice Minister (Yes, Bulgaria) and that of Varna-based businessman and presidential candidate Veselin Mareshki.
But 24 Chasa also mentions Bulgaria without Censorship of Nikolay Barekov MEP, which was formally abolished last weekend and was replaced with his new project, Reload Bulgaria.
GERB members will also be asked which parties their organization should explicitly distance itself from.
To both questions they will have to answer by choosing five parties.
The poll will be conducted throughout the week, its results due to be up for discussion next Sunday.
It comes after GERB, a center-right party, went through a tough and ideologically diverse coalition which was formed in the fall of 2014 and contained right-wing, rather centrist, nationalist and left-wing organization (the latter, ABV, having quit the alliance last summer). With surveys conducted so far projecting a low lead in support for GERB in case of hypothetical elections and hinting at some electoral potential for new parties, party leader and outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov may be unable to secure enough support to form a government on his own and may have to resort again to alliances.
In the summer, the second-largest parliamentary force BSP took a similar step conducted an internal referendum within the party on which organizations it should work with to nominate a joint presidential candidate.
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