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Bulgaria: The political crisis behind the window of stability

While Poroshenko was receiving the Bulgarian prime minister, in the homeland of the high guest, they spoke about the political crisis.

In Bulgaria, where mass protests are not a typical phenomenon, and the authorities are trying to demonstrate stability and boast of a successful chairmanship in the EU, they suddenly talked about a political crisis. It is caused by systemic problems, which are becoming more and more. Moreover, the idea of ​​early elections is announced, and as a result of the change in the political field in the country. However, if we come to the study of the current political configuration in the country without emotions, then holding an extraordinary parliamentary election does not seem inevitable. At the same time, the most interesting thing is that even if re-elections are held, they are unlikely to become a panacea for accumulated problems and will not have a significant impact on changing political schedules in the country.

In the beginning of October this year, the Bulgarian prime minister, Boyko Borisov, made a two-day visit to Ukraine. The Head of Government held a working meeting with President Petro Poroshenko in Odesa, and also took part in festive events on the occasion of the 160 anniversary of the Rakovsky Gymnasium named after Rakovsky and the opening of the memorial to the Defenders of Ukraine. Borisov was invited to visit Ukraine again, in particular, to go to Bolgrad together with the "new, renovated, modernized Odessa-Reni road, which is an investment in the rapprochement between Bulgaria and Ukraine." However, while the Ukrainian president and the Bulgarian prime minister discussed the conditions for further cooperation, in the homeland of a high guest, they increasingly talk about the political crisis. It can lead to extraordinary parliamentary elections, and as a result will cost Borisov a premier chair.

Local mass media are full of headlines such as "The tension increases and the explosion can take place at any time," "The government can not keep up with external pressure," "The authorities underestimate the scandals," etc. The reason for such conclusions was accumulated systemic problems in the country, among which: the growth of social dissatisfaction with the current authorities, the aggravation of political confrontation between the president and the prime minister, scandals within the government, financial transactions in which politicians are involved, contradictions in the middle of the opposition. They are becoming more and more obvious.

Another reason for talks about the government crisis was the initiation by Borisov of resurgence against the backdrop of acute public criticism following the road tragedy that occurred in August near the city of Svoge (the bus took off from the road and turned into a ravine, resulting in the death of 16 people).

Taking up oil in the fire recently, and the prime minister himself, shot at a US president during the UN General Assembly, sparked a wave of criticism: he was aiming for a trip to New York with Donald Trump for his visit.

In his turn, US Ambassador to Bulgaria Eric Rubin, quite unexpectedly, met with the honorary chairman of the opposition movement of the ethnic Turks Movement for Rights and Freedoms (AKP) Ahmed Dohan. This caused an ambiguous reaction in the country and gave rise to various speculations. In particular, the fact that during the meeting discussed the issue of the displacement of Boyko Borisov from his post.

A snapshot of the Bulgarian prime minister with the American president during the UN General Assembly, sparked a wave of criticism: it was alleged that his visit to New York was to be photographed with Donald Trump

Smoke without fire

In spite of the emotions that rival local media, political experts are more balanced approach to the analysis of the political situation, and in the majority of them agree that the probability of conducting in the near future extraordinary parliamentary elections that could change the current political configuration in the country, as the media writes , is low. First of all, because public distrust of the government has not yet reached a critical point. At least so far.

Secondly, the above permutations in the government are not something extraordinary and do not signal the government crisis. As the local political practice shows, during the second year of the government's governing coalition, the head of the cabinet can carry out his "upgrade". For example, it was with Borisov's predecessors Ivan Kostov, who after two years at the head of the government has replaced ten ministers, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotsky and Sergei Stanishev. It is possible that Borisov would go on such a step later, but mistakes and tragic events in the summer, forced him to make cosmetic repairs in the government before the "traditional" term. This, of course, does not mean that there will be no radical changes in the government later, but today the rallies are exclusively tactical in nature and are not a harbinger of the current Cabinet crash.

However, the most important thing that gives the ruling parties "Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria" (GESR) to feel calm and confident in the political Olympus of Bulgaria today is the lack of serious competition from other political actors.

Thus, the political activity of the main oppositional force and the constant competitor of the Georgian Socialist Party, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), which is constantly claiming the role of the first violin in the country's political ensemble, is more like a stumbling block in the city than a deliberate move towards a cherished government throne.

As for one more important political entity - the "United Patriots" (association of right-wing parties: "People's Rescue Front of Bulgaria", "Attacks" and "VMRO-Bulgarian National Movement"), it is important for the GDRE exclusively in terms of forming a government. Independently, this union of right-wing forces (part of a government coalition) is not able today to bring the GES to a second role. First, public opinion does not signal an increase in trust in the "United Patriots," which would jeopardize the current ruling power. Secondly, in order to become a real alternative to the GES, a coalition of right-wing parties must at least be able to maintain their unity. However, due to the ongoing conflict of interests between them, it seems to be quite problematic today.

As for the conversation about the fact that the purpose of the recent meeting of the American ambassador with the honorary chairman of the party of ethnic Turks - the opposition "Movement for Rights and Freedoms" - was the overthrow of Borisov's Cabinet, they really have no real grounds for them. The United States can not but bother about what is happening today in the Black Sea, as well as in neighboring Bulgaria with Turkey. Consequently, the stable internal political and social situation in Bulgaria, which largely depends on the position of the RPP, has a lasting significance for the United States. Most likely, it is the US's assurance of political and social stability in the country by the RPP and was the real purpose of the meeting of the American ambassador with the honorary chairman of this political force.

The election is not a panacea

On the other hand, despite the fact that today the probability of holding early elections is not high, the situation may change next summer, when the results of the municipal elections and the elections to the European Parliament will become known. If the results give signs of a political crisis (a significant loss of GEF positions and an increase on the background of the socialists), this may force the ruling power to initiate early elections.

However, in this case the main question remains the same: will they change the current political configuration in the country and become a panacea for accumulated systemic problems. Given the fact that today there is still no serious human and political-based political alternative to those who are at the helm of a country that unites the majority of the population, the political system of Bulgaria is unlikely to face radical changes in the near future. Even if on the political Olympus there will be a roll-out between the GES and the Socialists (which, as they are today, will seek support from the OP for the formation of the cabinet).

Therefore, despite the presence of a permanent systemic crisis in the country, on the political horizons of Bulgaria, for the time being, it is not visible the real driving force that would lead to its solution. Conversations about the extraordinary parliamentary elections, which should become such a force full of emotions, are essentially an attempt to give the desired effect. The only thing that can lead to them is the results of the forthcoming municipal elections and elections to the European Parliament that are disappointing for the ruling GES. However, even if this happens, it will not be necessary to rely on capital repairs of the political system in the country in the near future. Since it is not yet repaired by anyone.