No-confidence vs ‘national consensus’ as Bulgaria heads for new parliamentary session

Bulgaria’s centre-right GERB party, simultaneously the largest single party in Parliament and also the opposition, is gearing up to table a motion of no confidence in the government, while the Bulgarian Socialist Party says it is aiming for an increase to the minimum wage and measures to bring down heating and water prices.

Ahead of the first scheduled sitting of Parliament on September 4, which in turn is expected to see a mass anti-government protest event and quite probably the bussing in pro-government crowds, the leaders of Bulgaria’s two largest political parties have spoken out on the unfolding political situation in the country.

In remarks to reporters and on his newly-opened Facebook page, GERB leader and former prime minister Boiko Borissov has lashed out at the wave of political purges under the current government, underlining that some of those forced out of top posts were highly-skilled people whose departure would damage the country for years.

It also has emerged that GERB, which has been maintaining a somewhat inconsistent boycott of Parliament – absenting itself from sittings except, for instance, on the Budget 2013 amendments, has decided to appoint members to parliamentary portfolio committees.

A senior GERB MP, former cabinet minister Lilyana Pavlova, said that GERB was discussing tabling a motion of no confidence in the government.

“We think that the (anti-government) protests will intensify and we are definitely in favour of early elections,” Pavlova said. GERB would be a “constructive opposition,” she told reporters.

Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Sergei Stanishev, whose party ran second in the May 2013 elections but got the chance to form a government after it became clear that GERB had no allies in Parliament with which to form a governing coalition, denied that the series of personnel changes in recent days was a purge.

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(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)