Former Bulgarian Prime Minister rejects proposed pro-Western government coalition

Former Bulgarian Prime Minister rejects proposed pro-Western government coalition
Credit: Belga

Kiril Petkov, who was Prime Minister of Bulgaria from December to August this year, has announced he is not interested in joining the coalition proposed by the centre-right winner of last weekend’s election, Boyko Borisov.

The proposed coalition would be based on support for the European Union and NATO. Petkov, the pro-Western founder of the centre party PP, said his version of a Euro-Atlantic government is one “without corruption,” he said, referring to past corruption charges against Borisov.

PP co-founder Assen Vasilev added that his party “will not hold talks with Borisov’s party, GERB, or participate in negotiations to form a government with them.” PP finished second in the parliamentary elections on Sunday, with just over 20% of the vote.

GERB won the election by more than 25%, so needs coalition partners to rule. Borisov said he did not want to become government leader, but proposed an anti-Putin coalition in response to the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis. However, opponents of Borisov accuse the ex-prime minister and his party of corruption while in power.

The party lost the elections in April last year because of those allegations. After those elections, it took until December 2021, after two more elections, before Petkov managed to form a governing coalition.

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His administration lost a confidence vote in June this year, after which the president announced snap elections for October 2. Since August, Galab Donev, a counselor to President Rumen Radev, has been leading a transitional government until a new government can be formed.

Up to seven parties can sit in the Bulgarian parliament, some of which are in conflict with each other. GERB was the first to have the opportunity to form a government.

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