Bulgarian Parliament voted down on July 25 a motion of no confidence in the Government of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, with 136 MPs against and 72 in favour, while two abstained.
The votes in favour came from the two main opposition parties, the socialists and the predominantly-ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF). The centre-right Blue Coalition and nationalists Ataka both said earlier that they would not take part in the vote.
Ruling party GERB, which lacks the numbers to outright defeat the motion on its own (with 116 MPs in the 240-seat legislature) was backed by 20 independent MPs in the vote.
The vote was tabled last week by 74 MPs after the European Commission’s July 18 report on Bulgaria’s performance under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism. This was the fifth motion of no confidence tabled against Borissov’s Cabinet since it came took office in July 2009.
That mechanism was put in place in 2007 when Bulgaria joined the EU, to bring the country up to EU standards in justice and home affairs. In sum, the report acknowledged progress but said that there was a long way to go, and subtly called into question Bulgaria’s determination to achieve anything unless foreign partners were involved.
The motion said that Borissov’s centre-right ruling party GERB had failed in almost all spheres of governance. “This is particularly evident in the areas of human rights, the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and the compliance with the constitutionally guaranteed principles,” an explanatory memorandum on the motion said.
But the motion amounted to little other than posturing during the debate that preceded the vote, on July 24, because the opposition parties lack the numbers to carry the vote and its outcome was never in doubt.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)