No-confidence motion: Bulgaria’s ruling axis votes to keep itself in power

As had been expected, Bulgarian Socialist Party and Movement and Rights and Freedoms MPs voted together on May 30 2014 to defeat centre-right opposition GERB’s motion of no confidence in the cabinet on the grounds of failings in energy policy.

The vote on the motion, the fourth that GERB has tabled in the government that came to power in May 2013, came five days after the BSP was dealt a severe blow in the European Parliament elections, being handed a poor second place which spurred opposition calls for the cabinet to make way for fresh parliamentary elections.

After the motion was defeated, by 116 votes to 93, GERB leader Boiko Borissov and the party’s entire parliamentary caucus walked out of the hall.

GERB had chanted calls for the resignation of the government, and the party’s exodus from the House was greeted with ironic applause from ruling coalition MPs.

Ultra-nationalists Ataka, whose leader Volen Siderov has made no media appearances since the May 25 European Parliament elections left his party with no MEP seats, abstained in the vote.

Among the five “independent” MPs, three voted in favour of the no-confidence motion and one against. Most of these MPs are aligned to Nikolai Barekov’s Bulgaria Without Censorship party. Barekov, like GERB and the centre-right Reformist Bloc, has called for early parliamentary elections, given the outcome of the European Parliament vote.

GERB is the single largest party in the National Assembly, with 93 seats, too few for the 121 required for the motion of no confidence to have been approved.

BSP leader Sergei Stanishev, who has faced calls from within his own party for the leadership to resign in the light of the party being trounced in the European Parliament vote, has ruled out the resignation of the government. Ahead of the May 30 vote in the National Assembly, Stanishev said that the future of the government would be decided by the vote on the no-confidence motion.

A recent poll by Alpha Research put public approval of the cabinet at about 20 per cent and of the 42nd National Assembly at about eight per cent.





The Sofia Globe staff

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