Bulgarian parliamentary minority group re-forms

In a turnabout just a few days after it split, the parliamentary group of the minority Bulgarian Democratic Centre re-formed.

The 14-member group had imploded on June 3 when five MPs left, meaning that it had fewer than the minimum 10 members to be recognised officially as a parliamentary group.

On June 8, however, it was announced in the National Assembly that the five MPs had the previous day withdrawn their application to leave the group.

At the same time, the group was being renamed the Bulgarian Democratic Centre – People’s Union and its former leader Svetlin Tanchev was being replaced by Roumen Yonchev.

When the group broke up last week, the departing MPs complained that they had not felt consulted in decisions being made by the group. The breakup happened as the group’s nominations for personnel changes to its representatives on committees were being made. Five MPs were withdrawn from committee memberships, prompting them to quit the group.

Yonchev told reporters on June 8: “We do not seek posts”. He argued that the decision by the five to have left the group showed that this was not what governed them.

“Positions in the National Assembly are not important to us, what is important is the policy and the party we represent, the People’s Union, to be officially presented in the register of Parliament,” Yonchev said.

The dispute in the group was also seen as having been over co-operation with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party, which lost minority socialist party ABC as a coalition partner recently. Part of the BDC group appeared more disposed to co-operating with ABC than with GERB.

The group’s MPs said that decisions in the group would now be taken by 10 votes so that “neither of the two components of the group will be able to impose its opinion in making collective decisions of the group”.

  • As of June 8 2016, the line-up of parliamentary groups in Bulgaria’s 43rd National Assembly is GERB (84 MPs), Bulgarian Socialist Party (38 MPs), Movement for Rights and Freedoms (30), Reformist Bloc (23), Patriotic Front (18), Bulgarian Democratic Centre – People’s Union (14), ABC (11), Ataka 11. Eleven out of 240 members of the National Assembly sit as independents.



The Sofia Globe staff

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