Trifonov’s party next in line to form Bulgarian government but former TV host stays silent on plans

Trifonov’s party next in line to form Bulgarian government but former TV host stays silent on plans
By Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 24, 2021

Bulgaria’s Gerb party led by outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borissov returned the mandate for forming a fourth government on April 23 after failing to find coalition partners. This opens the way for the second largest party in parliament, popular showman Slavi Trifonov's  There Are Such People. 

However, that party still refuses to reveal whether it will make an attempt to form a coalition and government or if it will also return the mandate to President Rumen Radev, with its deputy leader Toshko Yordanov hinting that giving up is very likely scenario.

“We shall do what we have to in the moment when the mandate is given to us,” Yordanov said on April 23.

He repeated that there are two options – early elections or a government. A day earlier, he suggested that it is very likely that the party will to return the mandate but refused to comment further.

“It is touching how you all support us to make a government. You know that a government is stable when you have a majority in the hall. I am talking about either your MPs or coalition partners,” Yordanov also said.

Radev said that he will announce in the coming days the date when he will give the mandate to There Are Such People and expressed hope that the party will use its time for dialogue and building trust between the political parties.

There Are Such People has said that it is willing to form coalition only with the other two newcomers in parliament – the reformist Democratic Bulgaria and Stand up! Thugs out!, which have also said they are willing to form a coalition with the party.

However, the three political formations lack enough MPs for a majority. The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and ethnic-Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) have also proposed support to Trifonov’s party. However, the showman-turned-politician, as well as the other two newcomers in parliament, are not willing to enter into agreements with any of the traditional parties.

Meanwhile, Borissov once again accused his opponents of being in “agreements with criminals” and aiming to provoke chaos and revenge themslves on him. In a video statement, broadcast on Facebook – Borissov’s preferred way of communication with the public for over a year – he once again said his party was the biggest political force in the country and that it will return to power once the people see how unable his opponents are to rule.

Borissov’s statement again provoked criticisms due to the style and tone and also because the incumbent premier has once again chosen not to talk to journalists but to broadcast from his home instead. Moreover, his statement was live broadcasted by the three largest TV channels, BNT, bTV and Nova TV, which interrupted their regular programmes to show Borissov’s statement. Their choice was widely criticised as showing their deep dependence on Gerb and proving that the country deserves its shameful 112th place in Reporters Without Borders’ world press freedom ranking.