Tension within ruling coalition right before new political season

Unanimity after the difficult talks – United Patriots and GERB announced they are staying together in the rule
Photo: BGNES

The unveiling of the new parliamentary session today was preceded by a tense sitting of the coalitional council on Monday, for which some political observers had pessimistic forecasts on the government. Those concerns turned out to be groundless even if we take a look at the titles of several publications on the subject today – GERB, Patriots Coalition Keep their Formation /Trud Newspaper/; United Patriots Still Part of the Government /Sega Newspaper/; Coalition Stable Again, After Dramas / Mediapool Agency/ etc. Still, even such denouement gives reasons for thoughts that cause concern.

The emergency sitting of the coalitional council resulted from the bus road accident near the town of Svoge last week with 17 dead and 20 injured. Due to accusations on bad road infrastructure having been the cause for the accident and also that the authorities reacted inadequately, three ministers resigned – of the interior, of transportation and of regional development. Vice Premier Valeri Simeonov reacted against the resignations with accusations of an authoritative manner of rule and had his claims against the government and the parliamentary group of the United Patriots – a coalition that he himself belongs to as well. The fact that a road accident, no matter how heavy it is, shakes the government of a whole country, causes concern on its own. The political hassle around the road accident made some internal conflict within the United Patriots emerge. As it is the small coalitional partner of the ruling party, this all causes instability concerns. The other concerning thing was the easiness with which those heavy shakes were explained as miscommunication issues at a briefing after the sitting of the coalitional council. This on the other hand makes us suggest that there are serious internal problems, but their solving has being postponed. We will see what will happen over the next days when it comes to the postponed discussion of the three ministers’ resignations. GERB sends some signals that those might not be accepted after all.

However, the things that happened caused some positive thoughts too. Internal discrepancies obviously won’t result in the collapse of the governing coalition. Some changes in the current governmental formation are possible, but not due to political pressure. Only PM Borissov will decide on the political expedience of the whole thing. It is almost certain that no change of the government and early elections are likely to happen, as some apocalyptic forecasts had said. No change in the ratio of the political powers is visible too and no other reasons for such development are spotted. The state remains within the flow of its normal and predictable development, which is good under the circumstances given.

English version: Zhivko Stanchev

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