Bulgaria Finally has a Regular Government (CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS)

Politics | June 6, 2023, Tuesday // 16:06
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Finally has a Regular Government (CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS) Rotating PMs: Mariya Gabriel (left) and Nikolay Denkov (right)

With 132 votes, Nikolay Denkov was elected Prime Minister. 201 Bulgarian deputies voted. There were 69 against, no abstentions.

Deputies from GERB-SDS and WCC-DP, as well as two MPs from DPS, voted for the election of Denkov. One deputy from GERB voted against. 37 deputies from "Vazrazhdane" also voted against the cabinet, as well as 19 from BSP and 11 from TISP, as well as the independent MP Radostin Vasilev.

Only two MPs voted from DPS and they supported the nomination for Prime Minister. Those were: Delyan Peevski and Mustafa Karadayi.

With the same number of "yes" votes, the people's representatives approved the renaming of the Ministry of Agriculture to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

The composition of the government was adopted with 131 votes.

The composition of the "Denkov-Gabriel" office:

  • Prime Minister - Nikolay Denkov
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs - Mariya Gabriel;
  • Minister of Finance - Asen Vassilev;
  • Minister of Internal Affairs - Kalin Stoyanov;
  • Minister of Regional Development and Public Works - Andrey Tsekov;
  • Minister of Labor and Social Policy - Ivanka Shalapatova;
  • Minister of Defense - Todor Tagarev;
  • Minister of Justice - Atanas Slavov;
  • Minister of Education and Science - Galin Tsokov;
  • Minister of Health - Hristo Hinkov;
  • Minister of Culture - Krastyu Krastev;
  • Minister of Environment and Water and Chairman of the Advisory Council for the European Green Deal - Julian Popov;
  • Minister of Agriculture and Food - Kiril Marinov Vatev;
  • Minister of Transport and Communications - Georgi Gvozdeikov;
  • Minister of Economy and Industry - Bogdan Bogdanov;
  • Minister of Innovation and Growth - Milena Stoycheva;
  • Minister of Energy - Rumen Radev;
  • Minister of e-government - Alexander Iolovski;
  • Minister of Tourism - Zaritsa Dinkova;
  • Minister of Youth and Sports - Dimitar Iliev.

After the announcement of the results, the members of the new Bulgarian government took the oath. The anthems of Bulgaria and the EU were played.

Chronology of the events:

On April 2, the fifth early parliamentary elections in Bulgaria were held, which GERB-SDS won. After the vote, key political players remained silent for several days. On April 4, "We Continue the Change" (WCC) announced that it would not support a cabinet of or with the participation of GERB. In his first appearance after the elections, the leader of GERB, Boyko Borissov talked about a cabinet with the coalition "We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria" (WCC-DB), but declared that there were other options. On April 12, the 49th National Assembly began work and stalled over the election of a Speaker, who was eventually elected a week later. On April 19, under the so-called "gentleman's agreement" Rosen Zhelyazkov was elected rotating Speaker of the National Assembly. Immediately after that, President Radev hastened the consultations for a regular government. On April 25, a leadership meeting was held between GERB-SDS and WCC-DB, during which Borissov and WCC leaders Kiril Petkov and Asen Vasilev sat at the same table. On April 26, the WCC-DB announced that they would propose a government with the second mandate and that they would rely on the support of Boyko Borissov's MPs. On the same day, GERB took the position that it is possible to give up the first mandate, but they set an ultimatum - to present the draft cabinet. Until the beginning of May, the toying with the possible cabinet of WCC-DB and GERB-SDS continued through the media, with Borissov sometimes asking for his own ministers, then giving them up. On May 2, WCC-DB presented the "Denkov 2" project cabinet. A day later, GERB attacked the joint management program and announced that they were starting talks with other political groups.

On May 10, GERB proposed European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel as Prime Minister. A day later, she requested the removal of the Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev. The reversal in the position of GERB came in sync with a reversal in the position of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms-DPS (both parties refused to request Geshev's removal in the past). The move with Geshev and Borissov's new offer for their prime minister (Gabriel) and allowing WCC-DB to have 20 ministers did not change the position of the new coalition. On May 12, a new leadership meeting was held between WCC-DB and GERB, during which Borissov proposed that Asen Vassilev be finance minister. GERB, however, did not wait for an answer from the new coalition and announced WCC-DB as the opposition. Already on Monday - May 15, GERB started talks about the cabinet with the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) and "There Is Such a People" (TISP). On the same day, Geshev declared he will "clean up the political garbage". At noon, Mariya Gabriel also took the first mandate from Radev. Thee is speculations that a draft cabinet of the four formations (GERB, BSP, DPS and TISP) was agreed upon on the same day and the ministerial seats were distributed. However, after Geshev's statement, BSP withdrew, and with it the chances of a government with a GERB mandate. On May 21, minutes before midnight, Slavi Trifonov announced that TISP was also withdrawing from the talks for the first mandate.

A day later, WCC-DB and GERB-SDS launched the idea of a rotating cabinet. An hour later, Mariya Gabriel returned Radev's first unfulfilled mandate. On April 26, the deputies introduced a mechanism to investigate Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev. On the same day, Radostin Vassilev (an MP from "We Continue the Change" who left the party suddenly) published a voice recording of the National Council Meeting of "We Continue the Change". A day later, GERB announced that they were freezing negotiations with the new coalition. Four days later, Mariya Gabriel requested a new cabinet format and composition.

Talks were renewed on May 31, with GERB insisting on an "acceptable" interior minister. On the first of June, after a whole day of negotiations, WCC-DB and GERB-SDS agreed on the cabinet. The next day, the talks continued, but with the participation of DPS. According to official information, the constitutional reform was discussed. DPS MP Delyan Peevski, who is sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act, was the main person in the talks.

At the end of the day, the project cabinet was officially presented. There was a reshuffle in it - the nomination for Minister of Justice Emil Dechev was replaced by Atanas Slavov from the WCC-DB. Immediately after the official briefing, GERB and WCC-DB quarreled over Asen Vassilev, who was presented as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. After a new round of talks, the two parties agreed that Vassilev should remain only a minister. On the same day, Geshev requested the immunity of Boyko Borissov. Today, when the cabinet was voted on, it became clear that the chief prosecutor will also request Kiril Petkov's immunity.

The two formations deny the definition of a coalition, as no coalition agreement has been concluded. Instead, GERB and WCC-DB jointly drafted a management declaration and legislative program.

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