Bulgaria has just days to strike deal on new government or faces early election

Bulgaria has just days to strike deal on new government or faces early election
Gerb's Mariya Gabriel (left) is due to take over the rotating prime minister position under an agreement between Gerb and CC-DB. / Gerb
By Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 29, 2024

Boyko Borissov, the leader Bulgaria’s Gerb party, has set March 8 as the deadline to reach an agreement with its partner, Change Continues-Democratic Bulgaria (CC-DB), on the rotation of prime ministers, saying that otherwise the country will hold an early election in June.

The two formations – once fierce opponents – set aside their differences nine months ago to back a joint government headed by CC-DB’s Nikolai Denkov in the first nine months and then by Gerb’s Mariya Gabriel.

Denkov should resign on March 6. Borissov said that his party will provide its proposal for an agreement for the next months to CC-DB and will give the formation a deadline of March 8 to back or reject it.

Earlier in February, CC-DB proposed to Gerb a memorandum regulating the work of the government over the next nine months. Gerb rejected it and said it would rather go hold an early election, even though CC-DB said the proposal was sent as an invitation to talks, not as an ultimatum.

In return, Gerb said it will provide its own proposal, which was supposed to happen earlier this week.

CC’s co-leader Kiril Petkov reacted to Borissov’s February 29 statement by saying it was an attempt to sabotage potential negotiations on a government. Petkov accused Gerb of delaying the assessment of the work of current ministers, which has to be prepared by Gabriel who is currently deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

Petkov said that Denkov completed his assessment four weeks ago.

CC-DB requested negotiations with Gerb over the March 2-4 long weekend but Borissov declined, saying he was busy with activities related to the country’s national holiday on March 3.

Petkov said he suspects that Gerb aims to bring the country to ab early election in coordination with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS).