As he pursues a return to the post of the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borissov compares himself to Lionel Messi, the former best football player in the world, IntelliNews reported.
Signs from Boyko Borissov, the head of Gerb, the biggest party in Bulgaria’s new parliament, suggest that he will serve as the party’s choice for prime minister, assuming that the party is given the green light to form a government.
More than two months have passed since the general election on October 2. Still, due to a divided parliament, President Rumen Radev put off granting parties a mandate to form a new government.
Divided parliament after election
More than two months have passed since the general election on October 2. Still, due to a divided parliament, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev put off granting parties a mandate to form a government.
Finally, on December 2, Radev declared that he would award the first mandate on December 5, with Gerb being the most likely candidate as the largest party in the legislature.
Bulgarian media speculated that either Tomislav Donchev, Borissov’s deputy, or Dessislava Atanassova, the head of the party’s parliamentary group, would be the party’s nominee for prime minister.
Boyko says he’s the best choice for the Prime Minister
Borissov rejected the ideas of other candidates, claiming that he was “the best” available. There is no one better than me. No matter how arrogant this seems, Gerb has two variations. Borissov stated.
“[5 times the best football player in the world – ed.] Messi is … 31 [Borissov wrongly claimed the football player is 31 years old, while he is 35 – ed.] but when he enters a game, he scores the first goal. “Bulgaria has its Messi,” remarked Borissov.
Although not for a professional team, the 63-year-old former three-time prime minister still plays football. Although Borissov stated that it was not his favorite option, Gerb has indicated that it will propose a minority administration and seek parliament’s consent for it.
“The best thing to establish stability and understanding [amongst parties] is hardly a minority administration. Our political elite is still developing”, said Borissov.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the ethnic-Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), with whom it recently collaborated, are its most likely allies.
Experts and supporters of the reformist parties Change Continues and Democratic Bulgaria have accused Radev of purposely delaying the procedure to aid Gerb, who was formerly his biggest rival.
Read also our article Bulgaria buys Russian gas, circumventing sanctions: a scheme disclosed. It is possible that the new scheme for obtaining Russian energy resources was created with the assistance of the pro-Russian president of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, and the country’s interim government under his control, which is a supporter of maintaining relations with Moscow, despite its war against Ukraine and EU sanctions.
Gerb’s chances to form a coalition
However, it seems unlikely that Gerb would secure the first mandate and establish a government.
Although the three parties, known as the “Paper Coalition” by their detractors, collaborated to modify the electoral legislation, reintroducing paper ballots in a move considered as opening the door for electoral fraud, the party does not wish to join into a formal coalition with the DPS and the BSP.
Despite voter demonstrations outside the parliament building and a 40-hour marathon session in the house, the revisions were approved in a final reading.
Borissov proposed a pro-Western alliance
Borissov has proposed a pro-Western alliance to Democratic Bulgaria and Change Continues, but these two reformist parties are unlikely to cooperate with Gerb due to earlier corruption scandals.
According to Change Continues, co-leader Kiril Petkov, Gerb, the BPS, and the DPS collaborated closely in enacting the reforms to the election law.
According to Petkov, who was reported by the news outlet Dnevnik, “We are heading to a [quick general] election with paper ballots unless they establish a three-party alliance, for which there are signals that it is happening.”
Hristo Ivanov, a co-leader of Democratic Bulgaria, added that the current most likely government coalition appears to be between Gerb, the DPS, and the BSP. Ivanov predicted that the third mandate, not the first, would be used to build this coalition. He claimed it would go to Bulgarian Ascend, a minor party in the legislature led by Stefan Yanev, a former Radev advisor.
Yanev has repeatedly stated that he would be open to joining any government alliance.
Yanev reaffirmed that he was open to joining any coalition in the parliament and that he had no plans to become prime minister.