Bulgarian MPs elected socialist nominee Mihail Mikov as Speaker of the 42nd National Assembly on May 21, while the party of former prime minister Boiko Borissov, GERB, staged a walkout without nominating a deputy speaker.
Mikov was elected with the support of 117 MPs from the socialist party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), while Tsetska Tsacheva – who served as speaker in the previous legislature and was nominated again GERB – received 96 votes. Ultra-nationalist party Ataka did not vote for Speaker.
Mikov, 52, has been an MP since 1997, save for the period between April 2008 and July 2009, when he served as interior minister in the cabinet of Sergei Stanishev. He holds a law degree from the St Kliment Ohridski University, where he is also an assistant lecturer in criminal law.
Presenting Mikov’s nomination, socialist leader Stanishev said that as “parliamentarian in his soul”, Mikov would “guarantee control and exigence from the National Assembly towards the executive branch of government.”
After his election, Mikov said that the new legislature was facing the “difficult task of regaining the honour of the National Assembly. We must ensure this place as a model and example of overcoming tension.”
Yet tension was palpable throughout the first sitting of the legislature, finally finding its release in the election of deputy speakers.
GERB’s Tsvetan Tsvetanov said that his party would not “participate in this scenario for electing the leadership of Parliament. You will seek revanchism and confrontation and we will have no part of it.”
With Ataka’s MPs having already left the parliamentary floor, GERB followed suit, but that left enough MPs to meet the sitting’s quorum. The remaining MPs elected socialist Maya Manolova and MRF’s Hristo Bisserov as deputy speakers.
(Mihail Mikov screengrab from Bulgarian National Television)