Bulgaria’s Borissov Clinches Pact on Minority Cabinet

Boyko Borissov, the leader of Bulgaria’s Gerb party that fell short of winning an outright majority in October elections, secured an agreement on a minority cabinet and presented it to President Rosen Plevneliev.

The new cabinet, which will be voted on in parliament tomorrow, includes the Reformers’ Bloc and plans to draw support from two other parties, the Patriotic Front and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival, Borissov said today. It will have to address the bankruptcy of Corporate Commercial Bank AD, the country’s fourth-largest lender whose license was revoked by the central bank today, and revise this year’s budget.

“We face many crises, domestic and external,” Plevneliev told reporters in Sofia today. “The country needs leadership and responsibility.”

Borissov is to lead Bulgaria’s fifth government 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. Gerb and the Reformers will have 107 seats in the 240-member assembly, marking the third minority government in five years in the EU’s poorest state in terms of output per capita. They need 121 votes to win parliamentary confirmation.

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The Alternative for Bulgarian Revival of former Socialist President Georgi Parvanov and the Patriotic Front have 11 and 19 seats, respectively. Both parties seek to cut electricity prices and raise state wages, while the Patriotic Front campaigned to reinstate Cold War-era surface-to-surface missiles on Bulgaria’s border with Turkey.

Borissov named Vladislav Goranov finance minister and reinstated several ministers who served in his previous cabinet in 2009-2013, including Tomislav Donchev in charge of EU funding, Liliana Pavlova as regional development minister and Ivaylo Moskovski as transport minister. Bozhidar Lukarski, Reformers co-leader, was named economy minister.

The Socialist party lost power in July following the seizure of Corporate Bank. 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 it will vote against any government supported by the Patriotic Front.

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