If Radan Kanev Becomes Bulgaria's Prime Minister...

Novinite Insider » OPINIONS | Author: Angel Petrov |November 3, 2014, Monday // 09:04
Bulgaria: If Radan Kanev Becomes Bulgaria's Prime Minister... Kanev (R) would certainly avoid any tensions with Meglena Kuneva (C) and Bozhidar Lukarski, the other two key Reformist Bloc leaders. Photo by BGNES

"If there is disagreement related to positions in the cabinet... we are ready for other options, including to support a cabinet with Radan Kanev as Prime Minister, for instance."

This remark was made by GERB's member Tomislav Donchev after a new round of talks that the conservatives held with right-wing Reformist Bloc on Sunday to discuss the program of the next Bulgarian government.

Donchev later made clear he was not joking, and one can be sure he is not. But Radan Kanev himself will be if he even makes an outright comment on the issue.

GERB, on the one hand, might be "serious" about the proposal; but it has maintained ever since election results were announced that it has the indisputable right to point out a Prime Minister. At the same time Borisov conceding the role to anyone else would be a strange picture - pure science fiction.

Given that GERB is in a stronger position than the RB (being the mandate-bearer with a third of all votes cast on October 5), it might be trying to put an end to some of RB's aspirations, making them understand they should know their place.

On the other hand, the Reformist Bloc is just a loose coalition of right-leaning parties which has been unable to elect a Chair for more than a year, with two (or three) of the entities struggling to take the lead. Kanev is just the leader of DSB, one of these parties.  

Lukarski and Kuneva, leading the other two (SDS and DBG), expectedly preferred to remain silent; even the idea itself is shocking to them, since it would give unimaginable weight to DSB compared to the one it has now and would give it a huge edge over in its tacit race against DBG and SDS.

Bulgaria's recent history has undoubtedly shown that attempts at forging a strong right-wing coalition always fail when infighting of leaders results in a certain party gaining more weight than others. This is what happened with Ivan Kostov, with the once-ruling coalition called United Democratic Forces (ODS) collapsing after a huge loss in the 2001 elections that followed four years in government.

The disastrous outcome which shrunk the coalition to a third of what it was (18 percent, from about 52 percent) made its main parties separate and subsequently led to the formation of DSB and SDS.

Kanev, who is often said to have former ODS leader (and ex-Prime Minister) Ivan Kostov behind him, certainly knows that.

Even though he did not directly respond to Donchev's Sunday remarks, he did post a comment, albeit a musical one.

He posted on Facebook a link to the song Stiff Upper Lip by AC/DC, a title which means "an attitude of determined endurance or restraint in the face of adversity" according to a quick reference in a random dictionary.

So Kanev, known for often using Facebook to issue political statements and also for his sometimes impulsive remarks, says he is "determined", despite not mentioning what the "adversity" is. At a first glance he seems determined to at least determined to hold his tongue.

He also seems to know that with Sunday's comment GERB is trying to show Reformists they should rather know their place and should know the limit of their constant demands placed to the mandate-bearer Borisov.

GERB have more than once indicated they are fed up with the RB's constant insistence on removing certain ministers' names from the draft of the next cabinet, and also with Kanev's previous calls that Borisov should in no way be Prime Minister.

Whether conservatives' move hit the target is however yet to be seen.

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Tags: Ivan Kostov, Tomislav Donchev, GERB, DSB, sds, DBG, Radan Kanev, bozhidar lukarski, RB
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