Infighting within the ruling coalition over who will be the new foreign minister is threatening the stability of the Bulgarian government ahead of the scheduled change of prime minister in March.
At the start of March, current Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov from the centre-right PP-DB coalition will give up his seat to former Bulgarian Commissioner Maria Gabriel (GERB, EPP), who currently holds the post of deputy prime minister and foreign minister. If the government in Sofia survives this, the EPP will have one more representative at the EU leaders’ meetings for the next nine months before the next rotation.
But Gabriel’s appointment as prime minister is now at risk due to PP-DB’s insistence that Denkov become deputy prime minister and foreign minister after stepping down as prime minister.
However, the refusal to have Gabriel as prime minister would have wide-ranging implications on the government, with GERB leader Boyko Borissov announcing on Friday that if she were not appointed, the government would fall and that early parliamentary elections – which would be close to EU ones in June – would follow.
Parliament Speaker Rossen Zhelyazkov, also a member of GERB, sought to ease tensions, adding that his party had no intention of bringing down the government.
“We will certainly not demolish the cabinet. We are preparing for rotations. It seemed that the rotation would happen without any problems. For several days, it has not looked so cloudless,” Zhelyazkov said.
GERB wants the rotation to go through with minimal changes in government but without unnecessary upheaval, he said while confirming that his party wants the position of foreign minister.
But PP-DB still insists it should keep the same government post.
“We will fulfil our promises to support Maria Gabriel for prime minister, and we really believe that the rotation should be mirrored. Maria Gabriel should hold the highest post in the country – prime minister, and Acad. Nobody Denkov should become foreign minister”, said PP-DB co-chairman Kiril Petkov, who was the country’s prime minister in 2022.
(Krassen Nikolov | Euractiv.bg)
Read more with Euractiv
Romanian PM confident Russia won’t attack his countryRussia has not launched any deliberate attacks on Romania and will not do so in the future, Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said on Saturday, after residents of Tulcea, which borders Ukraine, received warnings of possible objects descending from the skies.