Bulgaria: Why Slavi and His Team Still Keep Silent?
These days, I accidentally overheard a conversation: "Well, will Slavi Trifonov keep quiet further?" a woman asked. "What can a man do when he doesn't know what to say," her companion replied, laughing. Yes, this explanation for the silence and low profile of the party, which managed to win the second most seats in the new parliament, sounds like a joke. But it could be very close to reality.
All are watching them now
The election results have arranged things so that the party that won the most votes cannot govern because it has no allies. And probably very soon, a week or two at the latest, the mandate for forming a government will be handed over to Slavi Trifonov and his party "There is Such a People". That's why now they're under scrutiny of both the voters (theirs and the others‘) as well as parliamentary parties. All are waiting for them to say what they're thinking of doing (and not doing) and promising support before they even hear the answer. Even the parties of the status quo - BSP and MRF, are ready to join the new parliamentary majority, and GERB - to lend its MPs.
And they are silent and keep an eye out. Not only on their specific intentions concerning the mandate, but on any other political issue. Their leader only managed to explain that they were "acting" in compliance with the constitution (as if they had any other option), and it was not until the sixth day after the election that he found time to thank voters for their trust. His alleged coronavirus infection is nothing but a lame excuse for this delay.
Not the beginning, but the end
The situation after this election with such a fragmented parliament is difficult for everyone. For them, however, it seems even more complicated - for one of their own specific reason. "Because as a party they are at the start, they are new to politics and have yet to learn," some would say. That's true, but there's something more important. It seems to me that at the moment we are witnessing not so much the difficult start of the new party as the difficult end of the usual lifestyle of its key faces.
It's the end of the show and concerts, the gigs, jokes and fun. The time of anti-theses and denial is over - the time has come for positive messages. It's not enough anymore to say what you're not and what you're up against, because everyone expects to hear who you are and what you're fighting for.
In this regard, the only thing known about them is related to the referendum of five years ago when they proposed a majority electoral system, cuts of the parties subsidies and the number of MPs and the like. However, these ideas now do no work. Not so much because they are generally too controversial and even harmful as because they are completely inadequate for today.
Today, the country is facing quite different problems (some of them are in the literal sense life-threatening) and far more important and pressing issues to solve. Like dealing with the coronavirus crisis and vaccination, saving the economy, completing and presenting the national recovery plan. Not to mention the less urgent but no less important questions about the necessary reforms and the policies inherited from previous government.
What the parliamentary newcomers think and intend to do on all these issues is not clear. Neither whether they think or intend to do anything at all. Rather, it seems like they don't have an opinion, let alone some reasoned decisions. And that's why they're silent. And silence can last a long time. But the real problem is that when they start talking, things can get even worse.
A commentator in a Western media had said these days that the success of Slavi Trifonov and his "There is Such a People" party bordered on a real internal political earthquake. It seems to me, however, that among the most shaken are themselves. I suspect they never hoped for such a success. And now they are very unpleasantly surprised by both the role they have fallen for and the responsibilities that have fallen on them./Yasen Bojadzhiev, DW
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