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Bulgaria's GERB-UDF PM-designate Gabriel withdraws proposed cabinet lineup

Mar 25, 2024, 11:13:41 AMArticle by Mihaela Miteva
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March 25 (SeeNews) - Mariya Gabriel, nominated for prime minister by Bulgaria's GERB-UDF coalition which came first in the latest general election, has withdrawn her candidacy for the position and will not propose a list of cabinet ministers, public broadcaster BNT reported on Monday.

Bulgaria's GERB-UDF PM-designate Gabriel withdraws proposed cabinet lineup
Mariya Gabriel; Source: European Parliament

Gabriel submitted to the National Assembly a letter stating she will not participate in the government formation process, the public broadcaster said, citing a press release from GERB.

Earlier this month, Bulgaria's parliament accepted the resignation of prime minister Nikolay Denkov of WCC-DB, the second largest political formation in parliament, opening the way for a rotation of government agreed upon earlier under a power-sharing deal between GERB-UDF and WCC-DB. As part of the agreement, Gabriel was set to take over from Denkov as prime minister for the next nine months.

Gabriel, who has been serving as deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister since June 6, 2023, proposed to president Rumen Radev a lineup of cabinet ministers last Tuesday, a day after receiving a mandate to form a government.

However, the government election procedure cannot conclude successfully after eleven ministers withdrew from the proposed cabinet, and GERB-UDF and WCC-DB failed to reach an agreement during the subsequent negotiations, Gabriel said in her letter to parliament on Monday.

In the proposed cabinet, Gabriel would have served as both prime minister and foreign minister, while Denkov would have been deputy prime minister in charge of European affairs.

The president should now hand a government formation exploratory mandate to the WCC-DB coalition.

Following the snap election held on April 2 last year, GERB-UDF has 69 seats in the 240-seat National Assembly, while WCC-DB controls 63.

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