Grand National Assembly motion defeated in Bulgarian Parliament
Bulgaria’s MPs rejected on November 25 the motion to call elections for a Grand National Assembly that could discuss the constitutional amendments proposed by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov in August.
The motion, which required a two-thirds qualified majority of 160 MPs, received 111 votes in favour, with 93 opposed and eight abstentions.
The outcome was expected, given that the largest two opposition parties – the socialists and predominantly ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms, with a combined 95 MPs in the 240-seat National Assembly – had said that they would not back the motion.
Critics of the government have described Borissov’s proposal as a stalling tactic at a time his third administration became the target of protests demanding his resignation and early elections, meant to ensure that the Cabinet saw out the rest of its term, which expires in March 2021.
Borissov’s constitutional amendments proposal received only qualified support on some issues from the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters, which said earlier this week that “further changes and clarifications” were needed.
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