Sociologists have decided en masse: GERB party is the undisputed winner of the parliamentary elections to be held in Bulgaria on October 5. But what will the turnout be, whether people are afraid to reveal whom they will vote for (in order not to lose their jobs), will there be players (underestimated by polling agencies) in the next Parliament, what will the role of dead people in the lists of voters be and that of the bought votes … nobody dares to predict. Ex-PM Boyko Borisov proclaimed himself prime minister for another mandate. But here the troubles started.
Last week, for example, Reuters reported that the favourite to win the parliamentary elections in Bulgaria, Borissov, is ready to negotiate with other parties after the vote, including discussing the possibility of forming a broad coalition to ensure political stability. “The minority government is risky for the country when it needs stability,” Borissov said in an interview for the British agency. But then Borissov slammed it on his profile on Facebook, and the authors of the publication corrected themselves, adding that GERB leader had not said he would negotiate a grand coalition, but would only seek support for important bills.
But the confusion comes from the Borissov’s assertion that “the only stable coalition that is shown by both sociologists and political scientists is between GERB and Reformators’ bloc” (RB) and that this coalition has already been “painted”. Moreover GERB leader even threatened that if this post-election union failed because of RB there will be new early elections because “people know that we can not make a coalition with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), we can’t do it with Bulgaria Without Censorship, nor … with the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), nor can I say anything on their behalf, nor can I do the talking.”
How can one explain when people of Borissov speak the truth? Only two days ago Mr. Borissov said that the Reformators’ Bloc will be the last they would negotiate with. Two weeks ago he spoke of a broad coalition, and days before the start of the election campaign heated the electorate with the “promise” that if GERB alone had no majority of 121 seats in the new parliament they would remain in opposition. The patriots in the face of IMRO and NFSB said their coalition can form a cabinet, if the president gave them a mandate to which Borisov commented again, expressing readiness “to be the Prime Minister in order to fix the state.”
What is the chance that the RB may rule together with Borissov? Some of them, such as DSB, set insurmountable conditions to GERB. Others – directly play for GERB in anticipation of being rewarded with ministerial positions. From which it follows that a month after the formation of the new 43-rd Bulgarian Parliament the split within the RB will probably be a fact.
On Tuesday probably the most prominent person within reformers, the leader os DSB (Democrats for Strong Bulgaria) Radan Kanev once again announced live on Nova TV that Borissov is inconsistent and that the purpose of his divergent media appearances is to redice the turnout.
“If the voters on 5 October are 4 million and not 3 million, for us the result will be double” said Kanev. And again he set on the table the conditions that DSB would have to a possible coalition with GERB: no future ruling positions in the country to be given to Mr. Borissov and former Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, convicted at the first court instance to four years in prison and the infamous belt-tightening former financier Simeon Dyankov. “Both today, and in the future we would only come into power with GERB, but under very clear and strict conditions, which GERB currently does not comply with,” said Mr. Kanev.
The truth is that the tension in the Reformators’ Bloc, especially between DSB and DBG of Meglena Kuneva, has been constantly growing from European Parliamentary elections onwards, when using the preference of voters chose the candidate of the party of Mr. Kanev, Svetoslav Malinov, for MEP before the leader in the list Meglena Kuneva. Then DBG refused to vote for President of the reformist coalition since Mr. Kanev had great chances to be selected for the position. It is said that the slogan for the parliamentary elections “Everything is in your hands” is an idea of Kanev, which was approved after an internal inquiry in the block, but its author was not then disclosed.
It seems that the people of the former Bulgarian EU Commissioner Meglena Kuneva want a return to power under not very clear conditions. And they are not much interested in the future of the rightist bloc. Last weekend, as former Vice-President of DBG Daniel Valchev (recently he decided to pursue his scientific career, but did not specify until when) slapped former DSB leader Ivan Kostov, saying that the latter was trying to transform the Reformators’ bloc into a group of DSB followed by fanatical Kostov fans. He also said that RB is a new party, and not a project that pulls from the freezer an old politician’s image and puts it in the microwave to make it “more proper.”
The latter sounded like a late response to Mr. Kostov who on 16 May 2012 said: “Meglena Kuneva is the last red cuckoo trying to lay an egg in the blue nest”. It is likely he had in mind the fact that Kuneva is the daughter of a famous partisan, activist of the Communist Party and former Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Ivan Pramov (1957-1962).
How Kuneva could be a truly rightist politician everyone can judge themselves. Which, incidentally, holds true for the former bodyguard of Todor Zhivkov – Boyko Borissov, who has once again demonstrated to the voters the manners of an authoritarian rule in “democratic conditions.”
Now he was allegedly sure that RB reformers wanted to ruin a future centre-right government. Although GERB picked up the undisputed professional Svetoslav Gavriiski for future head of the National Bank, who by the way is supporter of DSB. But is this not an attempt of Mr. Borissov to “shop” for support in advance of the RB? And is Mr. Kostov, who is currently director of the Laboratory for Risk Management at the New Bulgarian University, wrong when saying: “This is not offering a hand for a handshake, because it is a very difficult problem. Indeed, what GERB does is as if saying “come on, you reformers, may you be responsible to prevent the crisis in the banking system.” This is not a coalition-wise behaviour and I do not presume that proposed in this way Mr Gavriiski may accept it,” commented Mr. Kostov.
Beyond doubt is that after October 5 GERB will lead a coalition dance. However, the reformers from RB may be unwilling to dance.