Maxim Behar: The political force with a good leader, who offers clear solutions will have a huge advantage in the elections

Maxim Behar: The political force with a good leader, who offers clear solutions will have a huge advantage in the elections

Host (Lora Indzhova): Maxim Behar, Assoc. Prof. Alexander Hristov are here with me, PR experts. Hello, gentlemen, glad to see you.

Maxim Behar: Good morning!

Host: To ask you the first question, if I may use Mrs. Ninova's words - do we currently have a fake caretaker cabinet?

Maxim: We don't have a cabinet, actually. Real or fake, we don't have a cabinet. We have something that is coming out of all this mess, of the new constitution, carefully considered or not. And in my opinion, this whole cacophony won't end well politically because at the moment, no one knows who's doing what, whether it's for Borisov (Boyko Borisov – Ex-prime minister), whether it's for Peevski (Delyan Peevski - Bulgarian politician), whether We Continue the Change (political party)has any role. Whether it's Glavchev (Dimitar Glavchev - Caretaker Prime Minister), who is Glavchev, what he does. But... we have to live with it.

Host: Borisov was speaking this morning, and I am quoting a headline from our website: "Borisov: The request of Glavchev, Mitov to head the Foreign Ministry is an absolute coincidence." And here I ask the question because a few hours later came the proposal for Mitov to head the Foreign Ministry after Borisov's criticism of Foreign Minister Stefan Dimitrov - is it a communication error or deliberate demonstration, or something else for you?

Maxim: More likely  - a deliberate demonstration. By the way, Daniel Mitov is a very experienced diplomat, I've worked with him, he spent about 2 and a half years quite successfully at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and it's absolutely okay to have an experienced diplomat. You know, the first proposal, I think we even commented on it here, was slightly comical. The second proposal was unexpected. But it can't be a coincidence, of course. The fact that Borisov attacks the current, still Foreign Minister, and a few hours later comes the proposal for Mitov is not a coincidence. Obviously, GERB (political party) wants to demonstrate that they pull the strings in the caretaker government and still have a say. This is not to say they're in power or ruling, but they have a say in what everyone does, and in a way, this has been a victory for GERB for the last 2-3 years while they weren't in power. Now we see they're back on a white horse. On the other hand, it's an obvious loss for We Continue the Change, which couldn't finish what they started. Who's to blame - that's another topic. Why they couldn't finish it - that's another topic. But it didn't happen. Except for Schengen, half Schengen, which is still some success, nothing else was accomplished. No one cares about Bulgaria's image abroad, no one touched it, no one did anything. Inflation, no matter how much we talk about it being 3% or 5%, life in Bulgaria is getting much more expensive and we all feel it, especially our viewers and everyone else, of course. And this is a consequence of wrongly conducted economic policy, it's obvious.

Host: However, we have another reshuffle, and it's on the Minister of Agriculture, and the reasons I read a little earlier are failure to perform, legislative changes, and dissatisfaction in the agricultural sector. I'm talking about the replacement requested for Kiril Vatev. And here I ask, within a week, considering Kiril Vatev has been a minister for the last nine months, can such arguments of performance failure be considered reasonable?

Maxim: Don't forget that we're in a pre-election situation, and elections are coming. And what GERB says, through Boyko Borisov and a few more people, but mainly through Boyko Borisov, is this: "I dictate the terms, I command the parade, I say I want this or that minister replaced. So know this - the power is in my hands." which, in turn, brings positives in voting. Because any political force that shows leadership skills or that it can dictate things, wins points. I expect this to happen with other ministers on other occasions, too.

Host: Well, the caretaker cabinet will remain here until the elections, but after that, from a purely communication point of view, based on the informal pre-election campaign that is already underway, we will also go through the formal one, we see intensified relations between the recent non-partners in the coalition. Do you predict that after the elections, these thick red boundary lines between the parties GERB-SDS, DPS, and PP-DB will be overcome after the vote results, and we will again see these same people at the negotiating table?

Maxim: Everything is possible but in a completely different dynamic. We now see that GERB is being much more assertive. What we see with We Continue the Change and Democratic Bulgaria is that these people, who are on the other side and were part of the so-called fake coalition, are in total retreat, purely from a communication point of view. I have no idea how they are doing within the government, but purely communicatively, they are in a permanent defensive stance, putting them in a disadvantageous position. This farce with the Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Interior - first, he resigned, then he withdrew the resignation, and then he was dismissed. Then, this morning, I heard about this other farce, with the head of the Health Insurance Fund, who also resigned and then withdrew his resignation... All this speaks of a rather unclear idea of what the leaders of We Continue the Change should do. On the other hand, as you can see, GERB is already starting to advance through Boyko Borisov. We don’t see Denitsa Sacheva or the people around her making statements. Here, the leader is beginning to dictate the rules, and I don't exclude them from getting together again, giving something to someone, and forming a government again. But it seems to me, at least at this stage, today, in today's situation, that GERB will have a much greater advantage.

Host: During these nine months, there were moments when the tension was minimized and other moments when it escalated. Is it possible for us to enter a scenario in which we enter a spiral of elections after those awaiting us in early June?

Maxim: This is the most likely scenario. Looking back 9 or 10 months ago, I still can't explain how it's possible for intelligent people like Nikolay Denkov and Maria Gabriel, and we've talked about this topic here in this studio. Ugh... what a miracle suddenly appeared, people who speak calmly, intelligently, understandably... How can they let things slip to such an extent that this so-called rotation doesn't happen and this new chaos emerges? I'm starting to think that Boyko Borisov probably learned his lesson over these 20 years, and very well so. It's impossible for the state, from such an arranged development and orderly governance, to suddenly fall into such a collapse. Since this is a political collapse at the moment, and we haven't experienced such in the last 30 years, we're not familiar with it, and we don't know what will happen. I can only predict that GERB will have stronger positions because they know how to play this game, and if We Continue the Change doesn't stand up and start communicating a little more adequately and leadership-oriented, it wouldn't be surprising for Revival (political party) to emerge as the second political force, and then the so-called coalition will be, not to say difficult, it will be impossible.

Host: Thank you very much, gentlemen, for this conversation and for this analysis. We will invite you again, and there will be something to discuss in the coming weeks. We will only see what the results will show in the elections and what the Bulgarian citizens will choose.

Maxim: It all depends on the leaders at the moment. Whichever political force puts forward a good leader who speaks sensibly and loudly and offers concrete solutions has a huge advantage!

Host: Let's see! Thank you once again.


Watch the full interview here.