Bulgaria's parliament on Tuesday endorsed a pro-European government, the result of a painful compromise between the two largest parties after more than two years of instability and five elections in the impoverished Balkan country.
The new cabinet, mainly composed of experts headed by researcher Nikolay Denkov, received the approval of Parliament without difficulty, where it has 132 votes out of 240 seats.
Catastrophic situation in the country
The sexagenarian, former Education Minister chosen by the liberal reform coalition CC/BD, will govern for nine months. He will be supported by former European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, who is sworn in by the conservative Gerb party. The 44-year-old will hold the Foreign Affairs portfolio before taking over the government in March 2024.
The two political forces, which came neck and neck in the legislative elections on 2nd April announced an agreement on 22nd May to put an end to a political deadlock unprecedented since the end of communism in 1989. The negotiations then almost collapsed due to the leak of recordings revealing enmity between the two sides.
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But rival former prime ministers Boyko Borissov (Gerb) and Kiril Petkov (CC) decided to put aside their differences in the face of the catastrophic situation in this EU-NATO member country. They share their pro-European stance on the war in Ukraine in this divided nation, historically close to Moscow.
Their policy should therefore differ from that of the interim governments, which refused to send direct military aid to Kiev under the leadership of Russophile President Rumen Radev. The latter has also denounced this coalition in Parliament, calling on it "not to betray national interests".
Among the first priorities is the vote on the budget, the adoption of which has been delayed by political wrangling. At the helm, Harvard-educated Assen Vassilev was appointed Minister of Finance and European Funds. The new government also wants to reform the judiciary in order to better fight corruption and has set itself the goal of joining the euro zone and the Schengen area as soon as possible.