Government formation difficult as eight parties enter parliament
Eight of the 25 parties standing in yesterday’s general election in Bulgaria look like they have secured representation in the next parliament.
With 97% of the votes counted the centre-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) has emerged once more as the largest party. However their showing was not strong enough to secure a majority of seats and their 85 – 90 seats in the 240 seat National Assembly means that they will have to find one or two coalition partners.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) which was in coalition with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) prior to the election has ruled out the possibility of joining in a grand coalition with GERB. Their deputy leader Yanaki Stoilov stated that that ‘this could have been on the agenda if the BSP had had a stronger showing. Now that GERB has won twice as many votes as the BSP, the latter cannot participate in a coalition on an equal footing, said Stoilov. He wished GERB success and noted that Bulgaria should seek stability’ according to a report on the Bulgarian News Agency website.
Another possible solution is for GERB to work with the centre-left Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS or MRF) although this would require a lot of compromises which GERB may not be willing to make. DPS leader Lyutvi Mestan did not rule out the possibility of a coalition government with GERB when questioned about this on Sunday night. Boyko Borissov, the leader of GERB, did rule out this option on Sunday night.
Another solution is a coalition between GERB, the centre-right Reformist Bloc and the far-right and nationalistic Patriotic Front. That final solution would enable a government of around 125 seats, just above the 121 needed for a majority, to be formed. The Reformist Bloc has already been giving the right indications although they have indicated that they would be unhappy with Boyko Borissov as Prime Minister.
The final solution is yet another election, but there seems little stomach for that either within the political classes or the population.
The results after 97% of the votes had been counted and as published on the Central Election Commission (CEC) website are as follows:
Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB); 33.66% c.85-90 seats
Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP); 15.34% c.40 seats
Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS or MRF); 14.79% c.35-40 seats
Reformist Bloc; 8.92% c.20-24 seats
Patriotic Front; 7.3% c.17-20 seats
Bulgaria without Censorship (BwC); 5.69% c.16 seats
Attack (Ataka); 4.53% c.11 seats
Alternative for Bulgarian Renaissance (ABV) Movement; 4.16% c.11 seats
A further 17 parties failed to get above the 4% threshold for representation.