Bulgarian Industrial Association calls for early parliamentary elections
The Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) called on June 24 for a “social pact” among political parties and civil society for the current Parliament to be dissolved around the end of 2013 and ahead-of-term elections to be held – simultaneously with European Parliament elections – in May 2014.
Though its proposed solution to the current political crisis is different, BIA is the second business association to call for fresh elections, after a June 19 declaration by the Confederation of Industrialists and Employers in Bulgaria (CEIBG) called for new elections “without delay”.
BIA executive chairman Bozhidar Danev said that the current Parliament had no future in its current form.
He said that a future government of Bulgaria should be free of political figures and instead should be made up of experts.
The association wanted to see elections held according to a majoritarian system and the convoking of a new Grand National Assembly.
On June 19, the CEIBG said that it was not a political party and never would be, but as the largest employers’ association in Bulgaria could not tolerate the taking of policy actions that would lead Bulgaria’s economy to collapse.
The CEIBG said that since taking office on May 29, the current government and Parliament had dealt solely with the power structures of the state while the economy was left in the background.
The confederation expressed support for the anti-government protests and said that it did not expect them to stop in the foreseeable future.
It said that it was, by definition, interested in a stable and predictable executive. In the current situation, there was only one alternative, a new Parliament elected through new, democratic and fair elections “without delay”.
Also on June 24, Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev described the appointment of ultra-nationalist Ataka leader Volen Siderov to head Parliament’s anti-corruption committee as just as big a scandal as that of the (now withdrawn) appointment of controversial Movement for Rights and Freedoms MP Delyan Peevski to head the State Agency for National Security.
Plevneliev said that he would be launching political consultations with all parties represented in Parliament – meaning Boiko Borissov’s GERB, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the MRF and Ataka – and hoped to hold these by the end of the week, to discuss the situation around the anti-government protests.
Plevneliev said that he hoped that at the consultations, there would be a “reasonable and responsible attitude, not what we saw at the Consultative Council on National Security” – a reference to that council meeting ended in debacle after Siderov disrupted the order of the meeting to hector the President about a series of allegations.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)