Centrist PP party gets mandate to form coalition government in Bulgaria

President Radev reposes confidence in new government of premier-designate Petkov to 'corrrect' ex-prime minister's 'mistakes'.

Centrist PP party gets mandate to form coalition government in Bulgaria

Bulgaria's president on Saturday gave a mandate to the new centrist We Continue The Change (PP) party to form the government that won the election last month.

PP co-chairman and prime minister-designate Kiril Petkov said at a ceremony in the capital Sofia that the new government will assume office on Dec. 31 after receiving a vote of confidence.

"We don't have any more time to waste. It's now time to wrap up our task. Our people want to see them owned by the state after a 32-year (post-communist) era. It is time for our young people who have fled abroad to see Bulgaria as a place of hope. It is time for our elders to see our country as a just and dignified place to live. The efforts of our entire coalition will be directed towards making these hopes and promises come true," he vowed.

President Rumen Radev, for his part, expressed confidence that the new government will correct the mistakes made by former center-right Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

"The task of your new government will be to correct the wicked totalitarian model of government (of Borisov) that has ruled the country for the past 12 years," Radev said.

Borissov's decade-long rule ended in April after an election that showed widespread public anger over high-level corruption in the EU's poorest member state.

The PP, which won Bulgaria's third parliamentary election on Nov. 14, teamed up with Borissov's political rivals – the left-wing Socialists, populist ITN party and center-right Democratic Bulgaria – to agree on a ruling majority coalition.

The new alliance is expected to have a majority of 134 lawmakers in the 240-seat parliament.

During a four-month stint as an interim economic minister under Borissov, Petkov, an entrepreneur, garnered popularity for his efforts to unearth wrongdoings in state institutions. Borissov has denied any wrongdoing.

The PP signed a 140-page coalition agreement of understanding with the other three reformist political powers in the 47th term parliament, which was formed after the early general elections last month.

Petkov has drafted a Cabinet with a total of 20 ministers, five of whom are deputy prime ministers.

A total of 134 seats in parliament are held by the triple alliance. A vote of confidence in the new government requires the backing of at least 121 parliamentarians.

Bulgarians went to polls three times this year. The search for a coalition after the country's general elections on April 4 and July 11 remained unsuccessful. Seven political parties made it past the 4% barrier in the November election.