Bulgaria's largest political party expects to soon form a coalition government and put an end to the political deadlock that has resulted in three parliamentary elections this year.
Kiril Petkov, the co-leader of the We Continue the Change party that won but fell far short of a majority in repeat elections in November, told President Rumen Radev on December 6 that 'we fully understand that Bulgaria already absolutely needs to have a regular government.'
The anti-graft We Continue the Change is currently holding coalition talks with the Socialists, the anti-elite populist movement There is Such a People party, and the center-right faction Democratic Bulgaria.
Petkov said he expects a deal by next week, which would give Bulgaria its first regular cabinet since the decade-long rule of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov ended in April amid public anger over corruption.
According to a copy of the coalition proposal obtained by RFE/RL's Bulgarian Service, Petkov would be nominated by his party for the post of prime minister, and the government would include a separate minister for e-government, a deputy prime minister for effective governance, and a new ministerial position for growth and innovation that would be separate from the economic minister.
'No matter whether you are right-wing, leftist, or centrist, Bulgaria needs highways, safe dams, and good incomes,' Petkov told Radev, adding that the coalition government would bring back millions of Bulgarians who left the country to work abroad.
Bulgaria is the European Union's most impoverished member, and voters went to the polls on November 14 with concerns about corruption, energy prices, and the coronavirus pandemic.
We Continue the Change won 67 seats in the 240-seat parliament, while Borisov's GERB party took 59 seats.
The new government is expected to overhaul the country's anti-corruption agency, boost COVID-19 vaccinations, and take steps to shield citizens from rising energy costs.
With reporting by Reuters
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036