SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria’s center-right GERB party of former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov on Friday rejected the president's offer to form a government after last month’s inconclusive vote, pushing the country a step closer to a third election this year.
President Rumen Radev offered the mandate to GERB after the anti-establishment There Is Such a People party (ITN), which narrowly won the July poll, had failed to form a minority government.
Borissov, who was at the helm of the government for more than a decade, lacks support from any other party in parliament after the current caretaker government made public allegations of widespread corruption during his rule.
The party’s premier-designate, former Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov, rejected the mandate to form a Cabinet before even holding talks with other parties.
“We don’t see an option to fulfill the second mandate,” Mitov said.
In the July election, the ITN party of popular TV entertainer Slavi Trifonov, won 65 seats, just two more than Borissov’s GERB party. Four other parties also made it into the 240-seat chamber.
The President must now ask a third party to try to form a government, but political analysts are pessimistic about its chances, because of a rift between the anti-corruption parties.
If that attempt fails, as expected, Radev will have to dissolve parliament once again, appoint another interim government and call a new election within two months.
Political analysts predict that a new vote could have a similar outcome and deepen the political impasse that has gripped the European Union’s poorest member.
They also expect political instability to hinder Bulgaria’s ability to effectively fight any new surge in the COVID-19 pandemic or tap the EU’s coronavirus economic recovery fund.
The Associated Press