Outgoing Bulgarian Prime Minister and co-leader of the We Continue the Change (WCC) party, Kiril Petkov, has made it clear that he sees money and not the given pretense as the real reason for Slavi Trifonov’s ITN to withdraw from negotiations to set up a new party to withdraw government.
On July 22, Trifonov said that ITN was withdrawing from the talks. The cable presenter quoted a leaked recording of a meeting of the Democratic Bulgaria faction and expressed his insult.
Petkov told Nova Televizia on July 24, “I didn’t see anything scary or dramatic in this shot.”
“This was another ‘Macedonia,'” Petkov said, referring to the pretext Trifonov used in June when he withdrew ITN from the December 2021 four-sided coalition.
“Some people play a puppet show – they make up some kind of thesis to justify themselves, but in reality you have to draw a conclusion about what happens to their money,” Petkov said.
He said that the fact that “last week we blocked a billion-and-a-half order for Rousse – Veliko Turnovo and asked Rashkov to investigate corruption” meant that ITN “pulled the handbrake”.
Petkov was referring to Boiko Rashkov, currently interior minister and the person the remaining three factions in the governing coalition want to head a reformed anti-corruption commission.
Petkov said that if there were a snap election, he believed the WCC would win the largest share of the vote.
He indicated that he did not support an electoral pact with democratic Bulgaria.
“A partnership will most likely come about after an election, not before. I believe that we, Democratic Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Socialist Party, will reach the estimated 121 votes.
Petkov said if the WCC were to nominate a prime minister in a proposed new government, it would be Assen Vassilev.
“With our mandate, weeks ago we announced Assen Vasilev as prime ministerial candidate. We don’t think we need to have a new one every week.”
Petkov said there was no option for ITN to have a WCC partner in government again.
Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Kornelia Ninova told bTV: “We will no longer negotiate with ITN”.
“We gave up everything we could, we tried our best, we convinced the WCC who were so determined (not to speak to ITN),” said Ninova.
“We mediated, on Friday we gathered them around a table,” she said, saying there was something else behind ITN’s withdrawal.
Ninova said it was unfortunate that Trifonov didn’t call her before posting his announcement on Facebook. She said she never heard from him again after that.
“There is nothing more to say, we behaved correctly, when I received the mandate I called him, we had a normal conversation. I asked him if we want to form a government – yes. I did everything right,” said Ninova.
She said the reason ITN pulled was “the status quo, the old, this model of obligations, dependencies and public procurement in the house of close corporations – of all those things GERB, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, and recently Vuzrazhdane joined them, they got scared that things might move, that there might be a cabinet, that there might be an anti-corruption law, that Boiko Rashkov might be in charge, and they withdrew again.”
On the evening of July 24, Petkov, Vasilev, Ninova and Democratic Bulgaria were to meet to discuss how to proceed. Ninova said earlier on July 24 that the BSP leadership would meet earlier in the week to discuss what to do with the mandate it holds to form a government – whether to continue the mandate or return it unfulfilled.
(Screenshot: Petkov in his interview with Nova TV on July 24th)
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