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Bulgaria: Centrist party leader to form government

December 11, 2021

Bulgaria's president gave the mandate to form a new government to the prime minister-designate, Kiril Petkov, after his anti-graft party sealed a coalition deal.

Prime Minister-designate Kiril Petkov (left) and President Rumen Radev
Prime Minister-designate Kiril Petkov (left) and President Rumen Radev met after the coalition agreement was sealedImage: Valentina Petrova/AP/picture alliance

Four political parties in Bulgaria have reached an agreement for a governing coalition. Anti-corruption We Continue the Change (PP) party handed the draft government document to President Rumen Radev on Saturday.

"Zero tolerance for corruption will be the motto of our coalition," PP co-chairman and Prime Minister-designate Kiril Petkov said.

The Bulgarian parliament will vote on Monday to confirm what would be the country's first regular government since April.

PP won the latest election on November 14 with 25.67% of the vote, but it needed to secure coalition partners to govern. 

It did so with three other left-wing and center-right groups. Together, the four parties will control 134 seats in Bulgaria's 240-seat parliament.

"You and the coalition partners have a responsibility to reform the vicious power model inherited from 12 years of authoritarian rule, to tackle corruption and lawlessness, the inequalities and poverty they create,'' President Radev said, in reference to the governance of Bulgaria's three-time prime minister, Boyko Borissov.

Tackling corruption and COVID-19

Petkov, who is also the founder of a technology investment company, said the proposed four-party government would last four years.

"It is time, after 32 years, that Bulgarians saw power-holders who care for them; it is time young Bulgarians abroad saw Bulgaria as a promising place to return to, and our parents saw Bulgaria as a place where they can have a worthy pension and live their old age with dignity,'' he said.

Among the priorities of the new government are a delayed judicial reform, the fight against corruption, plus tackling rising electricity prices and the coronavirus crisis.

The country of 7 million has one of the world's fastest-shrinking populations, as well as the highest income inequality and the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the 27-nation European Union.

Bulgaria: Low vaccinations, high infections

jcg/fb (dpa, AP)