skoalicia

Като „отчаян брак по сметка“ анализира създаването на Синята коалиция през 2009 г. посланик Нанси Макълдауни. Според нея този акт, макар и позитивен, няма да доведе до драматични изборни промени, нито ще реши проблемите, породени от интензивното съперничество между двете десни формации. Повечето дрязги се завихрят около „поляризиращия характер“ на лидера на ДСБ Иван Костов, смята посланикът и предрича скандали и трудни моменти в новосформираното дясно политическо семейство.

Въпреки, че споделят общи ценности, двете партии са „като олио и вода“, според думите на лидер от десницата, цитиран от посланика. Бракът по сметка е израз на разбирането, че без тази коалиция класическата десница няма да премине изборната бариера за представителство в парламента. Затова се наложило „днес да преглътнем горчилката“ – коментирал Мартин Димитров, който е описан като добър контакт на посолството, поддържащ политиката на САЩ в парламента по темите за енергийната сигурност и затварянето на безмитните магазини. На Димитров, който е уважаван икономист му липсва чар, пише Макълдауни в кратка биографична бележка за синия лидер.

Факторът Костов

Премиер Иван Костов извърши исторически реформи, за да постави България на пътя на пазарните демокрации и присъединяването към ЕС и НАТО. Но мъчителните икономически реформи, подозренията в корупция и диктаторският персонален стил на Костов, с прякор Командира, довеждат СДС до политическо поражение през 2001 г. Упадъкът на СДС продължава сред корупционни скандали и сблъсъци на его, кулминирали през 2004 г. с напускането на Костов и неговите поддръжници, създали ДСБ. Характерът на Костов и страхът на лидерите на СДС, че той ще ги засенчи и ще превърне партията в „еднолично шоу“, са пречка за последващо обединение. От друга страна поддръжниците на Костов го виждат като истински спасител на демокрацията, единственият, имащ силата да удържи България в правилния път.

„Макълдауни, Макълдауни, я кажи…“

И Костов и Димитров са се консултирали с посланика в процеса на преговорите за създаване на Синята коалиция – става ясно от грамата. Костов е поискал от Макълдауни да окаже натиск над СДС да приеме неговите условия, а СДС са питали докъде да стигнат в компромисите. Посланикът е разяснил в отделни срещи с Костов и Димитров, че обединението е ключово за оцеляването на център-дясното и че двете страни трябва да вземат трудни решения за бъдещето.

Вътрешните борби в Синята коалиция обаче ще продължат дори тя да влезе в парламента и да стане част от управляващо дясно-центристко мнозинство, което пък може да стане дестабилизиращ фактор – резюмира ситуацията Макълдауни.

date: 3/13/2009 15:23
refid: 09SOFIA104
origin: Embassy Sofia
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 
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FM AMEMBASSY SOFIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5830
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 SOFIA 000104 
SIPDIS 
PASS TO EUR/CE TOM YEAGER 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/13/2019 
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, BU 
SUBJECT: BULGARIA: CENTER-RIGHT'S DESPERATE MARRIAGE OF 
CONVENIENCE 
Classified By: Ambassador Nancy McEldowney for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  After an acrimonious five hour debate, 
Bulgaria's small center-right UDF party (Union of 
Democratic Forces) agreed to form a pre-election coalition 
with its bitter breakaway center-right rival DSB (Democrats 
for a Strong Bulgaria).  Although a positive step that will 
likely enable them to cross the electoral four percent 
threshold, the "re-marriage" of convenience will not lead 
to dramatic electoral breakthroughs.  Nor will it resolve 
the intense rivalry between them, 
mostly centered on the polarizing personality of DSB leader 
Ivan Kostov.  In short, they have unenthusiastically made a 
necessary tactical move, but have not addressed any of 
their fundamental weaknesses in appealing to even their own 
electoral base let alone a jaded and cynical population at 
large.  Their factional infighting is likely to continue 
even if they make it into parliament; and, if they 
manage to enter a post-election governing coalition led by 
a larger centrist party, their animosity could become a 
destabilizing factor.  END SUMMARY. 
----------------------------- 
Rocky Marriage of Convenience 
----------------------------- 
2.  (C)  Understanding that separately they were unlikely 
to cross the four percent threshold to enter parliament in 
this summer's general election, UDF and DSB agreed to form 
a pre-election coalition on March 10 (also open to other 
rightist parties).  Reflecting the difficulty of bringing 
themselves to agreement, UDF Chairman Dimitrov said that 
"today we swallow our bitterness."  MP seats will be 
distributed 60:40 in favor of UDF, and a joint 
parliamentary group with co-chairs from both parties will 
be formed.  The agreement also says that UDF will top the 
ballots for the European Parliament (EP) election on June 
7. 
3.  (C)  Bad blood between the parties remains.  One UDF 
National Council member publicly stated the UDF-DSB 
agreement marked "the end of the Union of Democratic Forces." 
Though they share center-right political values, the two 
parties are like "oil and water," according to a former UDF 
leader.  Even during the glory days before the party split 
in 2004, the faction led by former PM Ivan Kostov quarreled 
with other UDF 
leaders.  When Kostov broke away to form the DSB, bloody feud 
ensued.  Egos overwhelmed ideology and pragmatism.  The two 
parties spiraled downward in popularity.  In coalition 
negotiations there was no real effort to resolve personal 
animosities or agree on a clear 
platform to present the electorate.  Their animosities 
could again erupt at any time and undermine the fragile 
coalition.  Center-right voters well understand the 
coalition is not a new dawn for the center-right but a 
desperate survival gambit.  But many will nevertheless vote 
for the coalition and hope for the best. 
4.  (C)  While still negotiating the coalition, both sides 
reached out to the Embassy.  Kostov asked us to press the 
UDF to unify on its terms, and the UDF asked how much it 
should compromise.  Brushing these aside, Ambassador 
made clear in separate meetings with Kostov and 
Dimitrov that unity was key to the center-right's survival 
and that both sides needed to make their own hard decisions 
about the 
future. 
----------------------- 
Surviving Two Elections 
----------------------- 
5.  (C)  The coalition's first and largest hurdle is the 
June EP election, several weeks before Bulgaria's general 
election (exact date TBD).  The EP's threshold is six 
percent.  Alone, neither UDF nor DSB could have reached the 
six percent mark.  Together they have a chance but no 
guarantee, and both still fear that failure to enter the EP 
will doom their chances in the general election.  Kostov's 
presence on the ticket may turn off large numbers of UDF 
and independent center-right voters, who will vote GERB or 
stay home. 
6.  (C)  If the coalition can get past the EP threshold, 
SOFIA 00000104  002 OF 002 
its chances of getting four percent in the general 
elections are good.  Then UDF and DSB can negotiate with 
GERB to join a center-right coalition government.  But at 
that point, according to local pundits, the pressure to 
cooperate will be gone and the old problems could easily 
resurface, weakening and destabilizing the coalition 
government. 
----------------- 
The Kostov Factor 
----------------- 
7.  (C)  Today's UDF and DSB are remnants of the 
once-powerful UDF that formed a majority government 
1997-2001 under then PM Kostov.  His historic reforms put 
Bulgaria on track to free market democracy and EU and NATO 
membership.  But painful economic reforms, corruption 
allegations, and Kostov's dictatorial personal style 
(nicknamed "the commander") led to UDF's defeat in 2001 by 
former King Simeon Saxe-Coburg.  The UDF continued to 
decline amid unrelenting corruption scandals and ego 
clashes, culminating in 2004 when Kostov and his supporters 
left to form DSB.  The split contributed to the Socialist 
victory in 2005 and further decline of the two rightist 
parties.  Attempts to regroup foundered mostly on Kostov's 
personality.  UDF leaders feared Kostov would overshadow 
them and turn the party into a one-man show, as he did in 
the past.  Kostov's supporters see him as Bulgaria's true 
democratic savior, the only one strong enough to keep 
Bulgaria on the right track. 
8.  (C)  COMMENT:  UDF and DSB understand they need to get 
into parliament this year or their days are numbered.  The 
reluctant coalition will likely make it into the next 
parliament with some 15-20 seats, but not trigger a broader 
center-right revival.  Ego squabbles and petty quarrels 
over coalition format, election ticket, etc., will dog the 
coalition.  If they do squeak into the next parliament, 
they will face new problems.  They will be dwarfed by the 
larger parties.  They may not have enough seats with GERB 
to form a government and GERB may look for other partners. 
They would likely be gadflies or backbenchers (and with 
their egos and infighting, more trouble than they are worth 
to a dominant party) and their ability to influence policy 
is likely to be quite limited unless a political convulsion 
alters the election landscape.  End Comment. 
9.  (SBU)  Bio note:  A good embassy contact, UDF leader 
Martin Dimitrov has 
supported U.S. policies as an MP, particularly on energy 
security matters and legislation to close duty free shops 
(which were notorious for money laundering and tax 
evasion).  At 31, Dimitrov is a respected young economist 
and MP but lacks charisma.  He traveled to the United 
States on a two-week DOS-sponsored International Visitors' 
Program for young leaders in January 2008. 
McEldowney