Summer turmoil in ruling coalition is storm in teacup

Photo: BGNES

The Coalition Council between GERB and the United Patriots held on Monday a second meeting caused by the resignations of the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications and the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works. Last week the coalition council postponed the debate after a four-hour sitting. This time it took the coalition council less than two hours to decide on the resignations of the three ministers. The National Assembly will vote the resignations of the ministers on Thursday. It seems that the summer turmoil in the ruling coalition will be overcome according to the plans of Premier Borissov and everything will look like a storm in a teacup.

Bulgaria’s Premier Boyko Borissov admitted that he decided on the resignation of the ministers on his own without consultations with the coalition partners from the United Patriots which contradicts the coalition agreement between GERB and the United Patriots. However, the Deputy Chairman of GERB Tsvetan Tsvetanov has assured that from now on every cabinet reshuffle will be consulted with the United Patriots first. The biggest political party in the ruling coalition intends to hold coalition councils on a regular basis, in order to avoid any possible miscommunication which caused the recent problems. One of the political formations in the United Patriots- the National Front for Salvation of Bulgaria (NFSB) will most probably vote against the resignation of the three ministers. However, NFSB will support the new ministers nominated by GERB. Ataka party has warned that people close to Premier Borissov have organized a plot against the cabinet. However, Premier Borissov and GERB’s Deputy Chairman Tsvetanov contend that the government is stable.

The government has been subject to criticism in the printed media. Duma daily commented that Borissov demonstrated weakness, because he nominated less popular people from GERB’s second-tier for new ministers. Mediapool agency made similar comments that the candidates for ministers of Transport, Interior and Regional Development do not have enough professional and political experience. However, many disagree with this thesis, because the current Secretary General of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior Mladen Marinov has been nominated for Minister of Interior, the Deputy Minister of Transport Alexander Manolev is Borissov’s nominee for Transport Minister and the Deputy Minister of Regional Development who also served as Deputy Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Regional Policy Petya Avramova was nominated to become the new Minister of Regional Development and Public Works.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party described the forthcoming cabinet reshuffles as a “desperate maneuver” and announced that it will vote against the new nominees on Thursday, because “they would continue the same harmful policy of the current government”. The vote of the socialists will not make things look different, because the balance of political forces has not changed since the last Parliamentary elections. That is why President Rumen Radev said on occasion of the recent political developments in Bulgaria that the current government has no alternative at present. However, the lack of alternative is not a problem of the government. It is a problem of the opposition.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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