Anti-government protests in Bulgaria took on a new shape on the morning of June 26 as protesters gathered outside Parliament to drink coffee, a variation on the routine of the past two weeks of evening gatherings to march around Sofia to demand the resignation of the government.
More than 1000 people were outside Parliament, while inside, the parties in government could not gather enough MPs for a quorum and the planned parliamentary sitting for the day was cancelled.
It is not easy to get a quorum because the largest single party in Parliament, Boiko Borissov’s centre-right party GERB, is boycotting proceedings and is willing to attend only if electoral law changes are to be discussed.
This morning’s protest was peaceful although there were some instances of tomatoes being thrown at the parliamentary building. Politicians, including Cabinet ministers, who arrived for the sitting were booed.
At one point, a Bulgarian socialist party MP, Maya Manolova, came out to try to speak to the protesters but this was a failed attempt. The protesters reject the government that was formed in May as utterly discredited from the outset, and want its resignation, along with new electoral laws and constitutional reforms.
Among the business of Parliament that could not proceed today was the vote on the nominated third deputy prime minister, Daniela Bobeva, who has been put forward by the BSP government to be responsible for economy-related issues.
Separately, meanwhile,a well-known poet, intellectual and former MP, Edvin Sugarev, has announced that he is going on hunger strike and will resume eating only if the current government resigns.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)