Bulgarian MPs overturn Budget veto
Bulgaria’s Parliament voted on August 16 to overturn the veto imposed by President Rossen Plevneliev on the Budget revision.
The motion passed with 130 votes in favour, which came from the two parties in the ruling coalition – 84 from the Bulgarian Socialist Party and 35 from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) – but also 11 votes from the ultra-nationalist party Ataka. Opposition party GERB’s 93 MPs voted against overturning the veto.
Ataka denies accusations of working in concert with the ruling coalition between the socialists and the ethnic Turk MRF (a frequent target for Ataka leader Volen Siderov’s attacks over the years), but routinely provides enough MPs on Parliament benches to ensure parliamentary quorum. It was also the second time this month that a presidential veto was overturned with the help of Ataka’s votes.
The vote was preceded by a debate that went on for three hours and a half, an opportunity for MPs from the ruling coalition and the opposition to trade pointed barbs. Socialists and MRF politicians also accused Plevneliev of pushing the political agenda of GERB – the party on whose ticket he was elected in 2011.
Plevneliev vetoed the key provisions of the bill – reduced revenue targets, which he criticised as “lacking ambition”, as well as increased spending and raising the Cabinet’s annual borrowing ceiling by one billion leva because of the lack of transparency about what the money would be spent on.
(Screengrab from Bulgarian National Television)