Bulgaria's four-party coalition govt sworn in

Bulgaria's four-party coalition govt sworn in

Bulgaria's new coalition government made up of four political formations and headed by Kiril Petkov, leader of election winner We Continue the Change, took the oath of office in parliament on Monday.

A total of 134 MPs in the 240-seat parliament backed Petkov's nomination for prime minister and the lineup of the new cabinet which comprises ministers from We Continue the Change, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), populist formation There Is Such a People (TISP) and the anti-status quo, pro-reform Democratic Bulgaria coalition. The ceremony was broadcast live by public television BNT.

The new government's first priority will be to tackle the energy crisis and avert a price hike for household clients, Petkov said in parliament.

Petkov unveiled on Saturday the lineup of the coalition cabinet upon receiving a mandate to form a government from president Rumen Radev. "The motto of the future government will be zero tolerance to corruption," Petkov said after receiving the mandate.

The cabinet features several ministers of the caretaker government appointed by Radev, which has been running the country since inconclusive regular general election in April, including Petkov himself and finance minister Assen Vassilev. Caretaker prime minister Stefan Yanev will serve as defence minister in the new cabinet.

BSP leader Kornelia Ninova will serve as economy and industry minister. Aleksandar Nikolov of TISP will head the energy ministry, while Teodora Genchovska, also from TISP, will be in charge of foreign affairs.

At an extraordinary meeting on Sunday the caretaker government decided to withdraw its draft budget bill setting a 5.4% of GDP budget deficit target for 2022, thus leaving it to the new regular government to propose its own draft budget after it is voted into office.

The new government will also have to urgently move forth with the country's recovery and resilience plan worth 12.9 billion levs ($7.5 billion/6.6 billion euro), which the European Commission returned for further consideration earlier this month.

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