Bulgarian President to Ask Gerb to Form Government Next Week

  • Parliament convenes, Gerb pledges to boost economic growth
  • Ex-Premier Borissov warns against instability in Balkans

Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev will ask former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s Gerb party, the winner in last month’s early elections, to form a cabinet seeking to end political uncertainty in the Balkan country.

“Immediately after parliament is constituted, the consultations and handing of the prime minister’s mandate to the biggest party will start,” Radev told reporters in Sofia Wednesday. “That will happen next week.”

Boiko Borissov

Photographer: Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images

Gerb and the United Patriots, an alliance of nationalist parties, agreed last week to form a coalition that plans to keep the Black Sea nation’s commitments to the European Union and NATO. The accord brings Borissov closer to forming his third cabinet since 2009. He reiterated his concern that Bulgaria needs a stable government amid uncertainty in the EU caused by the U.K.’s departure and instability in neighboring Turkey, Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia.

“We have to be smart, to consolidate, to make whatever compromise is needed,” Borissov told reporters Wednesday. “The stability of the Balkans depends on Bulgaria, which is also Europe’s external border with Turkey.”

Parliament convened in the EU’s poorest state of 7 million people, where party leaders pledged to end the political upheaval that’s brought a spate of elections in eight years and restrained the economy. Gerb’s priorities include fighting corruption, boosting economic growth and living standards, overhauling the inefficient education and health-care systems, deputy leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov told lawmakers. The assembly appointed Gerb’s Dimitar Glavchev as speaker.

The Patriots, who campaigned to revive business ties with Russia, seek to boost wages and pensions, to reform the debt-ridden energy industry and strengthen the border with Turkey, their co-leader Valeri Simeonov said.

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