GERB offers deal on no-confidence vote as government limps towards its end
On the afternoon that Plamen Oresharski, entering his final stages as prime minister, left the Positano Street headquarters of the Bulgarian Socialist Party to jeers from anti-government protesters chanting “you’re fired”, centre-right opposition GERB offered the BSP a trade-off for the closing days of the government.
On June 11, the 42nd National Assembly is to debate GERB’s motion of no confidence in the cabinet on the grounds of the government’s failings in the financial sphere. This is GERB’s fifth no-confidence motion, and appears destined for ritual defeat should – as might well be expected – the BSP and Movement for Rights and Freedoms unite against the motion.
After the defeat of the motion, should the script offered by BSP leader Sergei Stanishev be followed, the cabinet that had just survived yet another no-confidence motion would resign, to open the way for formal consultations on early elections, which Stanishev has proposed should be held by the end of July.
Senior GERB MP Tsetska Tsacheva, however, told reporters that she had been mandated by the party to propose an alternative.
The first item on the National Assembly’s agenda for June 11 is meant to be the election of members of the National Audit Office – a body about which the BSP rewrote the legislation and then put in place its own chosen chief, one of a long series of changes of heads of state and government bodies that the ruling axis has been carrying out since coming to power in May 2013.
Tsacheva said that if the BSP, in the form of socialist Speaker of the National Assembly Mihail Mikov, agreed to withdraw the agenda item on the election of members of the National Audit Office, GERB would withdraw the no-confidence motion, thus not burdening the taxpayers with meaningless arguments.
She said that following the announcement that the Oresharski cabinet was to resign, this meant that the motion of no confidence in the financial policy of the government had been successful, making a vote on the issue in the National Assembly superfluous. In any case, the current parliament had no legitimacy and should not be conducting any further business, Tsacheva said.
Tsacheva, repeatedly asked at the impromptu news conference about the party’s attitude to the Stanishev proposal for elections in July, said that GERB was ready for elections at any time.
She underlined that the issue of the date would be discussed at a June 17 meeting of the Consultative Council for National Security, convened by President Rossen Plevneliev, and she declined to be drawn on GERB’s position on the election date.
Tsacheva said that GERB wanted the referendum that President Plevneliev had proposed some months on electoral reform, and insisted that it should be held along with the early elections. Plevneliev proposed that, simultaneously with the European Parliament elections, a referendum be held on the question of introducing a majoritarian element to the electoral system, mandatory voting and electronic voting.