site.btaWeekly Roundup of Political Events: June 25 - July 1

Weekly Roundup of Political Events: June 25 - July 1
Weekly Roundup of Political Events: June 25 - July 1
BTA Photo

Dobrich, Northeastern Bulgaria, June 25

The Democratic Bulgaria coalition will do everything to ensure that the effort to put together a new government is successful under the first out of three possible government-forming mandates, MP Elisaveta Belobradova tells a BTA-hosted news conference in Dobrich. Belobradova vows that Democratic Bulgaria will remain a solid partner to the Continue the Change party and is disinclined to form a coalition with GERB.

Sofia, June 25

The decision on the issue of North Macedonia protects the Bulgarian interest, outgoing Minister of Innovation and Growth Daniel Lorer says on the morning show of NOVA TV. According to him, the Bulgarian Parliament had to support with a decision the negotiation process of the Republic of North Macedonia and Albania for joining the EU, as a broad consensus is needed on the issue.

Sofia, June 25 

Early elections and a caretaker cabinet are the worst option for Bulgaria, outgoing Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Industry Kornelia Ninova says on the morning show of the Bulgarian National Television. According to her, if this National Assembly fails to elect a new cabinet after the vote of no-confidence in the current government, early elections will lead to a lack of a functioning parliament to prepare and vote on next year's budget. This autumn and winter will be difficult, she predicts.

Sofia, June 26 

GERB-UDF floor leader Desislava Atanasova confirms on Nova TV that the party will return the exploratory government-forming mandate if it is given to them. The political formation first declared this intention after the no-confidence vote in the government of Kiril Petkov. She adds that if GERB is the first political force and there is no possibility for an absolute majority, leader Boyko Borissov has outlined the party's potential partners: all formations that share the Euro-Atlantic values.

Sofia, June 26 

The Bulgarian Socialist Party is mandated to negotiate the formation of a government within this Parliament if the first political force, Continue the Change, invites them, BSP leader and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Industry Kornelia Ninova tells journalists after the meeting of the National Council of the party. Ninova points out that the will of the National Council is for the Left not to participate in a government that includes GERB and MRF.

Sofia, June 27 

There Is Such a People (TISP) floor leader Toshko Yoradnov believes that forming a new cabinet within this Parliament seems increasingly unlikely. Yordanov says that TISP will not participate in a government with GERB, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms or Vazrazhdane. He does not rule out a possible coalition with Continue the Change.

Sofia, June 27 

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov submits his government's resignation to Parliament after losing a vote of no confidence on June 22. The move triggers a procedure for the formation of a new cabinet. In it, President Rumen Radev must hold consultations with the political forces represented in Parliament before he mandates the largest one, Continue the Change, to form a cabinet. The consultations were scheduled to take place on Monday (with Continue the Change, GERB-UDF, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and BSP for Bulgaria) and Tuesday (There Is Such a People, Democratic Bulgaria, and Vazrazhdane).

Sofia, June 27 

President Rumen Radev begins consultations with the parliamentary represented forces ahead of giving a government-forming mandate. Vice President Iliana Iotova is also in attendance of the meetings. At the start of the talks with the GERB-UDF coalition, Radev says: "We're starting consultations at a challenging time for our country. In addition to the economic, social and refugee crises, today we are also facing a political crisis."

Sofia, June 27 

GERB leader and former prime minister Boyko Borissov denies a claim that he is ready to step down as head of the party. Speaking to online news media, Borissov says he is not withdrawing from his post as GERB leader. According to him, the topic is not on GERB's agenda. 

Brussels, June 28 

Bulgarian MEP Radan Kanev (EPP/Democratic Bulgaria) takes a strong stance in favour of isolating Russia during the German Marshall Fund's Brussels Forum. Taking a question about whether Russia's isolation should be ended if Moscow takes control of the rest of Donbas, Kanev answers firmly in the negative. He says that the invasion of Crimea and our passive behaviour led us here. A successful annexation of Donbas and our passive behaviour will lead us to Kyiv. And Kyiv will lead us to Warsaw or to Bucharest. That is something we cannot allow - whatever the economic price, by the way.

Sofia, June 28 

President Rumen Radev concludes his consultations with the parliamentary political forces on the formation of a new government. He announces that he is closing the consultations before meeting with Continue the Change and the Bulgarian Socialist Party, who declined his invitation Monday and asked him to reschedule until after Parliament adopts important national budget revisions on Tuesday.

Sofia, June 29 

Outgoing Prime Minister Kiril Petkov says the decision to expel 70 Russian diplomats did not come from him but was based on three reports by the State Agency for National Security (SANS). Petkov talks to reporters before Parliament's closed-door hearing on the expulsion he announced a day earlier. He adds that there has been a report by the Foreign Ministry and a decision of the Government's Security Council. Regarding the Russian diplomats, Petkov says that at the moment the Russian Embassy has about 40 employees, which is a large number compared to other European countries.

Madrid, June 29 

President Rumen Radev holds a working meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. The two officials discuss bilateral security partnership, high technology and innovation as potential sectors for deepening bilateral cooperation. The meeting takes place within the framework of the NATO Summit in Madrid.

Sofia, June 29 

The decision of the authorities in Bulgaria to expel 70 Russian diplomats triggers a wave of political reactions and the government holds a closed-door meeting to discuss the matter. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says that the Bulgarian decision caters to foreign interests and that Russia reserves the right to retaliatory political and diplomatic measures, including those of an asymmetric nature. Russia’s Ambassador to Bulgaria, Eleonora Mitrofanova says that the United States and Britain rule the roost in Bulgaria and are responsible for the expulsion of Russian diplomats.

Madrid/Sofia, June 30 

President Rumen Radev confers with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Madrid. The two discuss the prospects for the further development of bilateral economic and investment cooperation, which could contribute to the Bulgarian economy's modernization. Current topics on the European Union's agenda, such as the possible approaches for Bulgaria's Schengen accession, are also discussed. Speaking at a news briefing in Madrid related to the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomats from Bulgaria, President Rumen Radev says government decisions obviously follow a parallel mechanism other than institutional decision-making.

Sofia, July 1 

Outgoing Prime Minister and Co-chair of Continue the Change (CC) Kiril Petkov announces in a video statement that Assen Vassilev is CC's proposal for Prime Minister in the new Cabinet.

Sofia, July 1 

Deputy Prime Minister and Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) leader Kornelia Ninova calls on Parliament to pass a resolution tasking the Foreign Minister to revoke the note on the expulsion of the 70 diplomats and staff of the Russian Embassy in Sofia. In a video address, outgoing Prime Minister Kiril Petkov says he is not going to change the decision on the expulsion of 70 officials from the Russian Embassy in Sofia.

Sofia, July 1

The EU and NATO express support for Bulgaria's decision to expel Russian diplomats. Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Spokesperson Nabila Massrali says the EU regrets the unjustified threat of the Russian Federation to sever diplomatic ties with Bulgaria in response to Sofia's decision, fully in line with international law, to expel 70 Russian Embassy staff who were acting in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.  NATO's Spokesperson Oana Lungescu says Bulgaria's decision to expel 70 Russian personnel as foreign agents is a sovereign decision which must be respected. "NATO Allies strongly condemn Russia's pattern of coercive behaviour and attempts to interfere in our democratic processes and institutions and to target the security of our citizens," Lungescu adds.

Sofia, July 1

UK Minister of State for Europe and North America James Cleverly expresses his country's support for Bulgaria's decision to expel 70 Russian diplomatic officials: "The UK welcomes Bulgaria's decisive action to expel 70 Russian diplomats and intelligence officers. We stand with Bulgaria as it takes further steps to protect its sovereignty and security from Russian hostile activity."

Sofia, July 1

Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov says: "The Russian Foreign Ministry will consider the possibility of closing down the Russian Embassy to Bulgaria, and if necessary, a report will be submitted to the President."

Sofia, July 1

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev hands a mandate to Assen Vassilev, prime minister designate of the largest parliamentary group, Continue the Change, to form a cabinet. Handing the exploratory mandate, Radev says: "I expect adequate solutions and standing up for the national interest to build a free, democratic, prosperous and European Bulgaria." Vassilev says: "Bulgarian citizens, society and institutions need security and predictability, a reliable protection of public interests, which implies above all responsibility and an effort to form a stable government to live up to Bulgarian citizens' expectations." Continue the Change have one week to fulfil the mandate.

While the mandate is being handed, a protest is staged in front of the Administration of the President against the continued presence in power of Continue the Change.

Sofia, July 1

North Macedonia's Internal Affairs Minister Oliver Spasovski pays a working visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov. The two officials are confident that active open dialogue will continue and will be built on in the future. They concur on the need to expand professional cooperation on all matters of shared interest.

/MT/

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By 02:43 on 20.08.2022 Today`s news

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