Bulgaria’s National Assembly will hold a special sitting in the week beginning August 12, interrupting its month-long summer recess, to discuss the veto imposed by President Rossen Plevneliev on key elements of the Budget 2013 amendments approved by the Bulgarian Socialist Party – Movement for Rights and Freedoms axis of MPs.
This means that the sitting will be held earlier than initially intended. After Plevneliev decreed the veto, socialist Speaker of Parliament Mihail Mikov indicated that a sitting would be held at the end of August, just a few days before Parliament would have resumed as scheduled.
However, centre-right GERB leader Boiko Borissov, who was among the party political leaders consulted by Mikov about when Parliament should meet to discuss the veto, insisted that the Assembly should sit no later than August 11 or 12.
Borissov said that given the tension caused by the veto, Parliament should serve the public interest by meeting as soon as possible. Mikov acquiesced in this request, in the sense that Parliament would meet in the coming week, not at the end of August.
Earlier, 77 members of GERB’s parliamentary caucus petitioned for an immediate sitting of Parliament.
Speaking on August 10 to Nova Televizia, Borissov sketched out a scenario whereby the debate and vote on the presidential veto of the Budget amendments could bring about the fall of the Bulgarian Socialist Party government.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party and MRF together have 120 out of 240 seats in the National Assembly, one less than required for a quorum and, in turn, to vote down Plevneliev’s veto.
According to Borissov, if Volen Siderov’s ultra-nationalists Ataka did not attend the sitting to provide a quorum and the GERB MPs did not vote, it would not be possible for Plevneliev’s veto to be overruled and the government would fall.
Borissov suggested that the parties in power would have difficulty in mustering the required numbers because, according to him, some of their MPs were holidaying outside Bulgaria.
Whether Borissov’s prediction has any chance of coming true remains to be seen, given that Ataka leader Siderov has hinted clearly recently that it would back overturning Plevneliev’s veto of the Budget amendments.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)