The sitting of Bulgaria’s Parliament scheduled for November 2 was called off because not enough MPs registered as present to provide the quorum required for proceedings to begin.
By the rules of procedure, at least 121 of the 240 MPs must register as present for there to be a quorum. November 2 saw three attempts, stretching over more than half an hour. At the first attempt, 110 registered as present, at the second, 114 and at the third, 115.
The opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party said earlier this week that its MPs would refuse to register as present until Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov resigns.
Simeonov, a co-leader of the United Patriots, the minority partner in government, has been the subject of calls for his resignation over controversial comments he made about protesting mothers of children with disabilities. He called the mothers “shrill women” and their children “supposedly ill” and accused the mothers of having political and commercial aims.
Under pressure from coalition partners, Simeonov eventually apologised, but the protests demanding his resignation continue. He was the subject of fresh calls for his resignation this week over the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad case, calls which he also rejected.
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms, the current Parliament’s fourth-largest party, said that it was up to the ruling majority to provide a quorum. It recalled the situation four years ago, when the MRF was part of the ill-fated “Oresharski” administration, and Boiko Borissov’s GERB party – now in government, then in opposition – frequently denied the legislature of the time a quorum.