How long can Borisov hold out?
The protests against Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov entered their 78th day today. The last few days have also seen several riots and clashes between demonstrators and police. The protesters are making the same demand they did at the beginning: the resignation of the government. Borisov, however, continues to refuse, mainly on the grounds that his leadership is democratically legitimate. The national press takes a different view.
Dragging his party down with him
The longer the prime minister delays his resignation the worse it will be for his party, writes Duma:
“As things now stand the protests won't be able to overthrow Borisov, but they are having a different effect. Politically, he's growing weaker and weaker as a result of the marches. And that, in turn, is shaking the informal government structure he created and thus indirectly contributing to the erosion of Gerb. ... No reasonable person believes at this stage that Borisov still has a place in politics. Instead, the war over his legacy is raging right before our eyes. It's a pathetic and sad spectacle, but one he fully deserves.”
Never a people's PM
Even if Borisov emerged victorious from three elections he never had the majority of the population behind him, e-vestnik points out:
“Since 2009 Borisov's governments have only come about through coalitions. Even in his first term in office he didn't have enough MPs to form a government and was supported by [ex-prime minister] Kostov's party and [the nationalist] Ataka, although they never officially joined the coalition. In his second term, Gerb had only 85 MPs [out of 240]. And even now Borisov and his coalition partners don't have the 121 MPs needed for a majority. He governs thanks to MPs he purchases here and there, in line with his clientelistic style of leadership.”