President Radev Calls for Constructive Dialogue among Parties to Form Government
Commenting on the upcoming third cabinet-forming mandate, President Rumen Radev said that time is up for political declarations. "People want to see the Bulgarian Parliament take a clear responsibility. I expect a clear signal from the parties, they must come up with a sustainable formula," he said while visiting the town of Topolovgrad on Sunday.
Given the distribution of seats, a compromise is needed, of which there is no sign in Parliament, said Radev. "Dialogue among the parties, which must build a stable majority so as to form a government, is essential," he added. "To this end, I could put off presenting the third mandate but not after next Friday. All options for giving a mandate to one of the other parties are open," Radev said.
The largest parliamentary group, There Is Such a People (TISP), have unsuccessfully completed their mandate, and GERB-UDF, the second largest parliamentary force, returned the mandate to form a cabinet on Friday. Now the President has until August 27 to offer the third and last mandate to a smaller parliamentary group of his choice.
TISP has 65 MPs in the 240-member legislature, GERB-UDF 63, BSP for Bulgaria 36, Democratic Bulgaria 34, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms 29, and Rise Up BG! Here We Come! has 13. To be elected, a proposed cabinet must be supported by more than half of the MPs present.
Radev also stressed the need of a budget revision. He criticized the MPs for giving hearings to members of the caretaker cabinet for days on end instead of tackling the urgent issues. "My recent meetings with hundreds of people have convinced me that the Bulgarians have high hopes, but the parties should know that their patience is running low," he said.
The other option - holding early elections after the budget is revised - would again require a caretaker cabinet but important decisions would be impossible to make because Parliament alone can take strategic decisions, said the President.
Asked if parliamentary and presidential elections could be held on the same day, Radev said that procedurally speaking, this is possible, but it would run against the philosophy of the Bulgarian constitutional model. Parliament should strike a balance between being true to the spirit of the Constitution and saving money, and should also factor in electoral fatigue, according to him.
As to migrant pressure, Radev said tightening security along Bulgaria's southern border with 1,000 service persons and 140 units of equipment costs 4.2 million leva a month and the resources are available in the reserve./BTA
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