Bulgaria’s Gerb Agrees on Minority Cabinet With Reformers

The Bulgarian Gerb party of former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, which fell short of an outright majority in last month’s elections, agreed to form a minority cabinet with the Reformers Bloc.

The two parties have agreed on the structure of the cabinet and will reveal ministry nominations after signing a coalition pact, Gerb lawmaker Roumiana Bachvarova told reporters in Sofia today. President Rosen Plevneliev will give Borissov the mandate to form a government tomorrow, after which he’ll have a maximum seven days to submit the cabinet to a parliamentary vote.

“We’ve yet to hold consultations with other parties in parliament to gain support for the coalition’s program declaration to be able to form a stable government,” Reformers’ Bloc leader Radan Kanev said at the same briefing.

Borissov is seeking to lead Bulgaria’s fifth cabinet in two years as the Balkan nation grapples with a widening budget deficit, a stagnant economy and pressure from the European Union to overhaul its institutions. The Reformers Bloc, a group of five parties, and Gerb will have a combined 107 seats in the 240-member assembly, making the third minority cabinet since 2009in five years.

Ministers, Support

Gerb and the Reformers will seek support for the government from the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival of former Socialist President Georgi Parvanov and the Patriotic Front, Kanev said. The latter campaigned to reinstate Cold War-era surface missiles on Bulgaria’s border with Turkey.

Borissov’s Gerb party is the biggest group in the assembly, with 84 seats. It wants to keep the tax on personal income and corporates flat at 10 percent and overhaul the indebted energy industry. The Reformers Bloc has 23 lawmakers. The minority coalition would draw support to pass laws on a case-by-case basis from the other six parliamentary parties.

The Socialist party lost power in July following the seizure of Corporate Commercial Bank AD, the country’s fourth-largest lender. The Socialists hold 39 seats and said they would neither join the coalition nor try to form a government on their own.

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which represents ethnic Turks in Bulgaria and has 38 seats, said will vote against any government supported by the Patriotic Front.

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