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Democratic Bulgaria MP: Party Will Not Back GERB-UDF Government

The lack of will for justice reform, the outrageous changes in the Election Code and the sweeping of the corruption problem under the carpet are just some of the reasons why Democratic Bulgaria (DB) will not support GERB-UDF’s first government formation mandate, DB MP and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Affairs Atanas Slavov said in an interview for NovaTV on Saturday. 
He said that during the last internal party meeting of his party members had rejected by a tenfold majority the possibility of joint governance with GERB-UDF. Slavov stressed that DB would not support the formtion of an “expert government” with a GERB-UDF mandate and would insist President Rumen Radev to veto the changes in the Election Code. According to Slavov, there is even a possibility of unconstitutionality of some of the texts of the amendments.
He is confident that without his party there cannot be a government capable of carrying out the necessary reforms and pushing the country towards modernisation and closer integration into the alliances it belongs to. Slavov confirmed that DB will support a government with the second mandate of Continue the Change (CC), with which the union interacted steadily both in the former regular government and in opposition to the electoral changes earlier this week. He said that there might be differences between DB and CC and described CC’s wavering vote on the new batch of F-16 aircraft as surprising. According to him, it was an alarming signal, but still the majority supported this decision. 
Slavov stressed that it was unacceptable for a fourth consecutive parliament to go in vain. He supported the idea that the National Assembly should have a more significant role in the nomination and selection of the heads of the special services at the expense of the head of state. “The current situation with another caretaker government puts excessive powers in the defence and security spheres in the hands of the presidential institution,” he said, adding that the president should not be allowed to concentrate too much power because it owes no democratic accountability to parliament. “The only way to hold the president accountable is through impeachment, which cannot be done, and there are currently no grounds for triggering such a procedure,” Slavov clarified. 
Slavov also commented on the Dutch veto on Bulgaria’s Schengen accession, describing it as not unexpected given the signals and comments from relevant diplomatic channels. He sees the reason for the unfavourable development in the lack of visible results in countering corruption and strengthening the rule of law. “Schengen is not just free passage in the absence of internal borders. Schengen is a definitive accession to a community of values, to which unfortunately we do not fully belong,” Slavov concluded.