Bulgarian Parliament faces ‘protest siege’ as it discusses budget veto

As Bulgaria’s lawmakers prepare to meet on August 16 to discuss the Presidential veto on the Budget amendments passed by Parliament earlier this month, a number of calls have been made in social media to hold an anti-government rally outside the National Assembly when it debates the veto.

On August 13, the Parliament announced that it would hold a special sitting to debate the veto imposed by President Rossen Plevneliev on key provisions of the Budget revision bill.

The sitting is scheduled to start at 10am on August 16; the Facebook groups used by anti-government protesters to co-ordinate their actions have now called for a rally outside Parliament starting 8am, with the intention of keeping MPs inside the National Assembly building.

The number of participants in the anti-government protests – which began on June 14 following Parliament’s decision to appoint controversial media magnate and MP Delyan Peevski as director of the State Agency for National Security – has gone down since the MPs went on their summer recess on August 2.

In social media, some protesters said that they fully intended to resume large-scale rallies when Parliament returns for the autumn session in early September.

The National Assembly has issued an official invitation to Plevneliev to attend the special sitting on August 16 to “defend his reasoning [for the veto],” Deputy Parliament Speaker Maya Manolova said on August 14.

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(Photo: Vassil Garnizov)