Bulgaria: EU Commissioner as PM?
Former prime minister Boyko Borisov and his Gerb party narrowly won the recent parliamentary elections in Bulgaria. Now Borisov has nominated EU Commissioner for Innovation Mariya Gabriel as his candidate for prime minister. Commentators welcome the decision and are for the most part optimistic that it could finally lead to a stable government in the country.
This time it could work out in the long run
The Bulgarian service of Deutsche Welle sees Gabriel as a solid candidate for the office of prime minister:
“Gabriel is a good and intelligent administrator and at the same time a political product of the Gerb party and loyal to Borisov. But above all she is an acceptable candidate in the eyes of Brussels, one who will seek to dispel the open mistrust of Borisov felt by some European leaders. ... If the ‘clean-up’ of actors like Borisov and Deljan Peevski [a politician suspected of corruption from potential coalition partner DPS] proves to be genuine this time, the whole nation stands to gain. If the Gabriel government is an attempt by these actors to make a graceful withdrawal from Bulgarian politics, it could prove to be a real surprise.”
A smart move by Borisov
With this nomination Borisov has taken the wind out of the sails of the opposition PP-DB party alliance led by ex-premier Kiril Petkov, writes columnist Yavor Datshkov in Trud:
“They don’t have a single argument against her because she embodies everything they are fighting for. ... At the same time, she will act as a prime minister appointed by Boyko Borisov, who thanks to her will go back to being head of state. ... We should not forget that no one in parliament wants new elections, and the people event less so. It would be foolish to hold another election in September and then local elections in November. My prediction is that the country will get a government now.”
Potentially a short-term post
The post of prime minister is not exactly attractive for Gabriel, writes RFI România:
“She would have a hard time finding support among the other parties to form a majority. Borissov has promised 20 ministerial posts to the parties that would be part of the government coalition. ... Considering the previous failures that led to five snap elections in a row, no sacrifice seems too great. Because otherwise the Bulgarians will be facing yet another election in July. ... As the portal Euractiv reports, the word in Brussels is that Mariya Gabriel would be making a big mistake if she left the EU Commission — for a post as head of government that could prove short-lived.”