Bulgaria’s president asks GERB-UDF coalition to form new gov’t

Rumen Radev

Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev on Monday asked the GERB-UDF coalition, the largest political force in the newly elected Parliament, to form a new government.

Radev handed the exploratory mandate to Mariya Gabriel, the GERB-UDF’s nominee for prime minister.

Gabriel, who is currently the European commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, has seven days to propose a government that needs to be approved by Parliament in a simple majority vote.

“I want to assure you that I will do everything possible within the framework of this exploratory mandate for Bulgaria to have a stable, working, regular government,” said Gabriel, whose coalition has 69 seats in the 240-member Parliament.

“You realize that many obstacles are ahead of you,” Radev told her, wishing her success.

Should the largest political force in Parliament fail to form a government, the president shall entrust this task to a prime minister-designate nominated by the second-largest parliamentary group.

Should the new prime minister-designate also fail to form a government, the president shall entrust the task to a prime minister-designate nominated by one of the minor parliamentary groups.

And should no agreement on the formation of a government be reached, the president shall schedule new parliamentary elections.

In the snap elections held on April 2, the We Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria (PP-DB) coalition won 64 seats, followed by the Revival party with 37 seats, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms with 36 seats, the BSP (Bulgarian Socialist Party) for Bulgaria coalition with 23 seats, and the There Is Such A People (ITN) party with 11 seats.

This was Bulgaria’s fifth parliamentary election in two years. Three of the previous four Parliaments had to be dissolved. A cabinet was formed after the elections held on Nov. 14, 2021, but it was ousted by a no-confidence vote in June 2022. ■

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