Bulgaria’s former-PM Borissov seeks path to coalition in fractured parliament

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Bulgaria’s former prime minister Boyko Borissov said on Tuesday his centre-right GERB party would seek talks with political rivals to try to form a government after an election win that offered no clear path to a coalition.

GERB won the Oct. 2 election with 25.3% of the vote, but it faces a hung parliament, raising the risk of another snap poll as the Black Sea country seeks to contain the impact of Europe’s energy crisis and surging inflation amid war in Ukraine.

His main rivals, the reformist We Continue the Change party who accuse him of allowing graft to fester during his decade-long rule that ended in 2021, have already said they would not enter into talks with GERB for a government. So did their allies the Socialists and anti-graft Democratic Bulgaria party.

Acknowledging the challenge, Borissov said he would be willing not to become prime minister or even a minister if that was what was needed to have a functioning coalition.

A new snap poll – following four already in the last two years – would not produce different results, said Borissov, who served as premier for more than a decade before losing an election last year following massive anti-graft protests.

“I propose to all to think and try to see how things will look after two or three months. I am ready for all kinds of compromises and concessions in the name of the people,” Borissov said in his first comment after election.

The 63-year-old GERB leader said parties in the European Union and NATO member state could find common ground on the country’s position on the war in Ukraine.

Once Moscow’s key ally in the EU, Sofia has turned away following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, becoming the first EU member alongside Poland, an anti-Russian hawk, to see its gas supplies cut off by Gazprom.

Seven parties are seen entering parliament when final results are known on Thursday, with former premier Kiril Petkov’s We Continue the Change party being the second biggest.

Parties from the previous cabinet accuse Borissov of allowing widespread corruption to fester, which he denies.

On Tuesday, Borissov said he was willing to discuss in detail his opponents’ plans for judicial reforms.

via Reuters

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