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HomeEUBulgaria Agrees Government With Rotating PMs to Tackle Corruption

Bulgaria Agrees Government With Rotating PMs to Tackle Corruption

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Former European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will take over as PM after 9 months.

A coalition of Bulgarian parties on Monday agreed to form a government tasked with uprooting corruption and led by two rotating prime ministers — one of whom will be former European Commissioner for Innovation Mariya Gabriel.

The coalition’s main goal will be to implement constitutional reforms in the first half of its mandate, particularly targeting the judiciary in a country plagued by high-level corruption. In the past days, long-running concerns about the role of Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev — centered on whether he sweeps major mafia cases under the carpet — have exploded into a dramatic public feud with former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

Bulgaria’s center-right GERB party and the anti-corruption alliance led by We Continue the Change and Democratic Bulgaria (PP-DB) will form a grand coalition government, the two parties announced Monday according to local media.

The agreement will last for the next year and a half: the PP-DB’s PM designate, Nikolay Denkov, will lead the government for the first nine months, with Gabriel as his deputy and foreign minister.

Denkov will then swap seats with Gabriel, who was the GERB party’s pick for PM.

“PP-DB will propose a government that can implement a constitutional reform, fulfil all the requirements related to the country’s full membership in the EU [and] implement comprehensive judicial reform,” Denkov said Monday according to Mediapool.

The grand coalition has also been tasked with reintroducing electronic voting, as part of an effort to tackle electoral fraud.

The agreement is intended to put an end to years of political instability in Bulgaria, which has held five elections in the past two years.

The GERB party, whose leader leader Borissov served as prime minister from 2009 to 2021, won the latest election, in April, with 26.5 percent of the vote.

The PP-DB coalition came in as a close second, scoring 24.9 percent, paving the way for difficult coalition talks as neither of the two parties had a clear parliamentary majority.

Borissov picked Gabriel as his PM nominee, prompting her to resign from her commissioner post. But her nomination was initially rejected by the PP-DB, who said they would not support the nomination of any GERB representative in a new government.

Source: Politico

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