Centrists Hope New Govt to Usher Bulgaria into EU

Politics | August 16, 2005, Tuesday // 00:00

Bulgaria's centrists, who signed a deal to form a government with the other two largest parties, hope the new cabinet will live to see 2007, when the country is scheduled to join the European Union.

"It would be a good thing if the new government enjoys political longevity, but it is crucial that it survives to usher the country in to the European Union", Ognyan Gerdzhikov from Simeon II National Movement of former king Simeon Saxe-Coburg and former parliamentary speaker told the morning broadcast of private Nova TV channel.

He slammed the opposition's allegations of unconstitutionality against the Socialist prime minister-designate Sergey Stanishev. In his opinion unnecessary tension will grip the society if the opposition approaches the Constitutional court at this moment.

Commenting the statement of President Parvanov that "the procedure will not take the upper hand over politics", Gerdzhikov said it was "legal nihilism".

A day earlier the rightist United Democratic Forces (UtDF) vowed to approach the Constitutional Court in case the Parliament approves anew socialists' leader for prime minister.

UtDF leader Nadezhda Mihaylova explained that under the Bulgarian Constitution one person could not be handed a governing mandate twice. In her words the president's decree is a "personal one."

Georgi Markov, a former Constitutional judge, also voiced his concerns that Stanishev's new prime minister nomination is not acceptable under Bulgaria's Constitution. Under a decision of the Constitutional Court of 1992, a person who was elected prime minister, but whose draft cabinet was rejected cannot not "sit again for the exam", irrespectively of the mandates, Markov told Bulgarian National Radio.

There have been speculations that Simeon Saxe-Coburg relies on the instability of the new government, as it would be easily blamed for a possible delay in Bulgaria's accession, failure to cope with the damages done by the floods, rising prices and falling investments. Saxe-Coburg is said to believe that the government will be live and kicking for no more than a year when he may join the presidential race, rising against the current President and former Socialist leader Parvanov.

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