Vote of no confidence in Bulgarian government over corruption to be tabled on January 17

The opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) will table its vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s coalition government on January 17, basing the vote on the issue of corruption, BSP leader Kornelia Ninova said at Parliament’s first sitting for 2018.

The BSP will not be tabling the motion in tandem with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), Parliament’s fourth-largest party, after MRF founder and honorary chairman Ahmed Dogan said that no opposition party was ready to take over the government of the country.

Reportedly, however, the MRF will support the vote of no confidence, which most observers see as unlikely to gain enough votes to succeed.

Ninova’s January 11 confirmation that the vote of no confidence would be tabled came a day before the National Assembly is to vote on overturning a veto by President Roumen Radev of the ruling majority’s anti-corruption law, approved in 2017. Parliament’s justice committee voted against Radev’s veto on January 10, and the National Assembly is expected to do the same on January 12.

The first sitting of the plenary for the year came on the day that Bulgaria formally takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, which the country is to hold in the first six months of 2018.

As is customary, at the first sitting for 2018, MPs rose for the playing of the Bulgarian and EU anthems.

National Assembly Speaker Tsveta Karayancheva, addressing the opening of the sitting, called on Bulgaria’s MPs to act as a national team and more as a community, and called for fewer sermons from the speaker’s podium.

“Let’s look at the EU Presidency not as a platform for left and right populism, but as a reason for convergence rather than for opposition,” she said.

This irked the parliamentary left-wing opposition, which said that Karayancheva’s words were inappropriate and that they were not to blame for the sundry protests being held on January 11 to coincide with the EU Presidency opening.

The BSP and MRF said that during the EU Presidency, they would not remain silent but would continue criticising the government.

The BSP called for Prime Minister Borissov to be asked to come to Parliament to address MPs on security and the murders in recent days, but the ruling majority voted to reject this move.

However, on the afternoon of January 11, Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov and Interior Ministry chief secretary Mladen Marinov were to attend a meeting of the committee on internal security, at the request of chairperson Tsvetan Tsvetanov, to address these issues.

Addressing the opening plenary sitting, Tsvetanov said that partisan political passions could not contribute to the achievement of national goals during the Bulgarian EU Presidency.

Tsvetan Tsvetanov, parliamentary leader of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party.

“Our European partners have also seen scandals and intrigues and protests. In this sense, the intentions to provoke passions during the presidency cannot achieve the great effect that some are aiming at,” Tsvetanov said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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