(DF) BSP National Council Green-lights Further Negotiations with TISP Party

July 25 (BTA) – Meeting here on Sunday, the National Council of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) authorized the continuation of negotiations with the There Is Such a People (TISP) party, BSP leader Kornelia Ninova told a news conference. The National Council’s position on further negotiations on the Left’s support for a TISP-proposed government was adopted with 120 votes in favour and 1 against. The BSP’s coalition partners also attended the meeting. Ninova specified that under the adopted position, the negotiations can be broadened to include Democratic Bulgaria and Rise Up BG! Here We Come! and can be finalized with an agreement on support for the new government. In her words, this document will be based on policies and will be the result of the negotiations; it will not be a coalition agreement but a bilateral agreement with TISP on support outlining what has been agreed on during the negotiations. The BSP’s final decision on whether it will support TISP’s draft cabinet or not, will be taken at another meeting of the National Council once TISP presents its government line-up and priorities, Ninova underscored. There are five priorities that the BSP wants to see in the new government’s policies: social policy (the fight against inequality and poverty, higher incomes, including recalculation of pensions, a policy on young people and workers); a healthcare reform; education, science and culture; counter-corruption and a quality judicial reform; and economic recovery. The BSP National Council does not accept the following ideas: the application of a liberal governance model, where the State would withdraw as the main regulator and holder of assets of key importance for national security (particularly the privatization of Bulgarian Development Bank and the introduction of concessions on roads); and allowing the Republic of North Macedonia to begin accession negotiations with the EU if that is at the expense of Bulgaria’s national interest and history. The BSP Executive Bureau now has to form expert groups which to start working with the other three parties’ experts. Commenting on the protesters gathered in front of the BSP headquarters at the start of the National Council’s meeting to demand her resignation, Ninova said that these 60 people, led by Socialists Kiril Dobrev, Kaloyan Pargov and Vessela Lecheva, show the power of the party’s internal opposition: 60 out of the BSP’s 82,000 members. “They do not have the right to demand my resignation as they have not elected me,” the Socialist leader noted. The National Council’s meeting continues. RI/DS