A special sitting of Bulgaria’s National Assembly that had been scheduled for August 13 to hear Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and debate an opposition Budget revision motion was cancelled after too few MPs were present to form a quorum.
Only 78 MPs registered as present, with the process slowed down by the fact that they had to do so by signing up. The electronic voting system in the National Assembly plenary hall has been dismantled in order to be moved to the new premises that Parliament will use when it returns from the summer recess next month.
The day’s agenda included two items – a motion requiring the Cabinet to submit, within seven days, a Budget revision regarding socio-economic measures in response to the Covid-19 crisis, and hearing Borissov and Interior Minister Hristo Terziyski on the topic of the violence against journalists, protesters and participants at last week’s national conference of Borissov’s GERB party.
To be quorate, the National Assembly would have required 121 out of a total 240 members of Parliament, but only MPs from the two largest opposition parties, the socialists and the predominantly ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms, were in attendance.
The lack of quorum prompted chants asking for the Cabinet’s resignation from the opposition benches, which drew a rebuke from Parliament Speaker Tsveta Karayancheva, who said that socialist leader Kornelia Ninova could not even muster all her party’s MPs to attend the special sitting, which was called at the socialists’ request.
After the sitting was cancelled, Ninova said that the ruling majority had committed “ritual suicide” and once again demanded snap elections.
Before the attempted sitting, the opposition MPs arriving at the National Assembly building were pelted with eggs and tomatoes by protesters gathered outside, who were held back from entering Parliament by a police line, Bulgarian National Television reported.
The anti-government protests, now in their 36th day, are demanding the resignation of the government and the Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev. Protesters continue to block key roads in capital city Sofia, a tactic that was set to be replicated in Bulgaria’s second city of Plovdiv, where several major thoroughfares were expected to be shut down to traffic on the evening of August 13, podtepeto.com reported.
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