Ruling coalition is stable and will complete its term

PM Borissov demands resignations of finance, economy, interior ministers

The ruling coalition remains stable and will continue to govern as presently constructed until the completion of its term. This was the news that came out of the meeting between GERB and its coalition partners held at the Council of Ministers building on 16 July. The ruling coalition’s priority is to survive the upcoming motion of no confidence. However, the statements of all three party leaders – Boyko Borissov, Valeri Simeonov and Krasimir Karakachanov – indicate that a significant cabinet reshuffle is on the horizon.

Valeri Simeonov, leader of the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, was the first to expound on the decisions made during the meeting. “First, the ruling coalition remains stable and will continue to govern as presently constructed until the completion of its term in the spring of 2021. The most pressing issue is to reject the motion of no confidence filed by the BSP,” Simeonov said. On the topic of personnel problems in the cabinet, he said the council agreed to a reshuffle once the motion of no confidence at the National Assembly floor has been overcome.

For his part, Krasimir Karakachanov, leader of the IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement, explained that the motion of no confidence is sure to fail, but that there will be changes to the cabinet.

Late on Wednesday, GERB leader and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov demanded the resignations of Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, of Interior Minister Mladen Marinov and of Economy Minister Emil Karanikolov. The decision was made after Borissov's meeting with his party's regional coordinators, who asked of him to dismiss the three ministers in order to refute the insinuations that GERB and the three ministers are directly dependent on the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and MP Delyan Peevski. According to the regional coordinators, GERB is undeservedly suffering because of the speculations about its ties with the MRF. 

GERB said in its press release that the party highly values Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov's contribution to Bulgaria's acceptance in the Eurozone waiting room and the policy of financial stability that he carried out. Interior Minister Mladen Marinov is also praised for his Ministry's achievements in the fight against contraband, petty crime and drug trafficking. Economy Minister Karanikolov's contribution to the increased foreign investments in Bulgaria is also noted.

“And all of this is being tied to Delyan Peevski and the MRF thanks to a well thought out tactic of influencing the public. Of course, this is done with the kind assistance of people from the so-called urban right, of whom the conversations and text messages disclosed yesterday revealed that they take their orders from (someone on) Facebook,” Borissov said.

According to the premier, the leader of Yes, Bulgaria Hristo Ivanov wrote to him that he is waiting for the Lukoil documents. “I will give them to you, dear Hristo. But why didn’t you obtain and read them yourself while you were a vice-PM and a justice minister? Why didn’t you introduce that item to a Council of Ministers meeting? Why didn’t you ask your fellow minister of economy to give them to you?” Borissov asked.

“The most grotesque aspect of this is that a party like the BSP could even initiate a motion of no confidence,” Borissov said, adding that the socialists’ arguments were completely contrived. The premier also warned that difficult months lay ahead, as the rate of new (coronavirus) infections is rising. He noted that Bulgaria is the only country in denial of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the rest of the countries are going back to stricter measures. He also said that anyone who tries to caution that the pandemic is not over is getting attacked.

“We have some people complaining about one thing and other complaining about a different thing. But as I look at the faces of this protest, I know all of them,” Borissov said, making it clear that he could not see the country being governed by these people because it would immediately get off the rails.

He believes that November, December, January and February will bring a severe social and economic crisis and that no single party or coalition could handle it or navigate the waters of that rough sea. He sees consolidation of the entire nation and the state as the only way.

“Believe me, cabinets will fall. A provisional government would be absurd. Then we will be the ones protesting on the streets. Because of this immature president, or a figurehead as he was referred to, Shishi is the one who picked the cabinet members for him. But there was no protest then. And Hristo Ivanov did not come out and say – who is Shishi and how he handpicked the ministers in Radev’s provisional government. Now he is pointing a finger at my ministers, who have achieved tremendous results. Why no protest back then and how did Shishi exploit Radev’s dependence on Peevski? Hristo Ivanov asked no questions at the time,” Borissov said.

“Who of the people demonstrating now is more experienced than us, more knowledgeable and more capable?” Borissov asked. “We passed every test and now the figurehead is standing there grading my work, with epithets no less. I think we have seen who is controlled by the mafia and how it wants the country to be run,” the premier said.

Borissov made it clear that the ministers were asked to resign not because they have done a bad job, but because fingers were pointed at them. He apologized to his coalition partners for not letting them know in advance about the move. He told them he shared their opinion that now is not the time to be divided and that they should use the motion of no confidence to show that the government still holds a parliamentary majority.

This is why the coalition, Borissov continued, is going to stand as one and later, if it comes to that, the opposition parties will have a say in how the country should be governed. “Hristo Ivanov should say with whom he intends to govern. Or is he just doing the dirty work for the BSP and the MRF once again so that they can topple GERB and the United Patriots and take over?” Borissov concluded.  

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