Bulgarian PM’s party, ultra-nationalists in deal on new constitution, Grand National Assembly

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party and a governing coalition partner, the ultra-nationalist VMRO, reached a deal on September 2 on tabling a draft new constitution and a vote calling for the convening of a Grand National Assembly.

Borissov’s GERB put forward the revised constitution as a response to many weeks of protests calling for the government’s resignation. Protesters have not been mollified by the move, which critics label the latest in a series of manoeuvres to remain in power until elections scheduled for spring 2021.

The GERB-VMRO agreement, which appears to mean that Borissov’s party now has mustered the 122 out of 240 votes needed in Parliament to go ahead with the moves on the constitution and the Grand National Assembly, came on the afternoon of a day that saw several thousand protesters lay siege to the National Assembly building.

Addressing a briefing on the afternoon of September 2, GERB parliamentary group leader Dr Daniela Daritkova said that the agreement with VMRO had come after “long debate and dynamic dialogue”.

VMRO had said earlier that it would not back the tabling of the new constitution unless its own demands were included in the draft.

VMRO said that in the deal, some of their proposals, such as encouraging a higher birth rate, had been accepted, while others, such as an educational qualification to be eligible for the franchise, had not.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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