BSP will decline cabinet-forming mandate between 10 and 15 September

Photo: BTA

If they do not come to terms with the three other parliamentary groups they have invited to consultations, BSP for Bulgaria will decline their cabinet-forming mandate between 10 and 15 September, Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) leader Kornelia Ninova told an extraordinary news briefing in Parliament on Sunday ahead of the first round of talks, with Rise Up BG! Here We Come!

President Rumen Radev handed the third and last cabinet-forming mandate to BSP for Bulgaria on Friday after the largest parliamentary group, There Is Such a People (TISP), unsuccessfully completed their mandate and the second largest
parliamentary group, GERB-UDF, immediately declined the second mandate. Unlike the first two, the third parliamentary group does not have to meet a deadline for picking a prime minister designate, but once it does the designate will have a week to
fulfil the mandate or decline it. Before that, BSP for Bulgaria would like to consult Rise Up BG!, There Is Such a People, and Democratic Bulgaria.
"It is up to them to appear at these consultations," Ninova said, adding that the idea is to have the parties state their positions "publicly, in front of the cameras, at live-streamed meetings." She would like the parties "at least to show some common sense and form a majority that would speed up the revision of the budget by cutting the time between the first and second reading", considering that motions can be tabled by 7 September before the bill comes up for a second reading.
"We have set ourselves two objectives: to form a regular cabinet which could tackle the crises and to assemble a majority to press ahead with changing the GERB governance model," the BSP leader also said.
"We can choose between declining the mandate right away or keeping it until we find an answer to the most pressing issues. We take the second option," Ninova pointed out, arguing that "if we decline the mandate, we will leave the pensioners without a
pension increase and police, physicians and military without adequate financing."

Agreed on cabinet without GERB, MRF

At the consultations, the two parliamentary groups agreed that they will not form or back a cabinet with the participation or with the support of GERB and the MRF.
"If you see a cabinet-forming formula excluding GERB and the MRF, count us in," Rise Up BG! Floor Leader Maya Manolova said, specifying that "a cabinet at any cost is not a solution, as far as we are concerned, and we will not back it." She blamed TISP leader Slavi Trifonov for refusing to assume a responsibility for backing and sharing in a cabinet of the "parties of the change" in both this and the previous parliament.
Manolova insisted on the need of TISP and Democratic Bulgaria joining the cabinet-forming effort and said that if they do so, Rise Up! will lend their support, too.
Rise Up! will second BSP for Bulgaria's motion to bring up the second reading of the budget revision in the National Assembly. In turn, they will expect the Socialists to back priorities that the coalition considers important and wants voted through within the life of the incumbent Parliament: an increase of pensions and child-care benefits, financial support for transport, the tourism industry and agriculture to help them
survive the COVID-19 crisis, providing funding for tackling a possible migrant crisis, containing the price hike of electricity, heat and water for households, and resolving on the closure of the specialized courts and prosecution offices, Manolova said at the consultations.
The chances of a cabinet being elected on the third mandate are slim, considering that TISP (65 MPs) and GERB-UDF (63 MPs) have committed to oppose such a proposal, and Democratic Bulgaria (34 MPs), too, have said they will not back a government proposed by the BSP. It is highly improbable that the MRF (29 MPs) will vote in favour. This leaves just 49 certain votes in support of a third-mandate Council of Ministers (36 from BSP for Bulgaria and 13 from Rise Up!) in the 240-seat legislature. To be elected, a proposed cabinet must be supported by more than half of the MPs present.

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