Bulgaria’s new National Assembly votes resignation of Borissov’s government

At its second sitting, held on April 16, Bulgaria’s 45th National Assembly voted to approve the resignation of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s government.

In the 240-seat National Assembly, the vote was 156 in favour, while MPs from the GERB group abstained.

Voting was preceded by an argument whether it was necessary for the resignation of Borissov’s government, tabled on April 15, to be voted on at all.

A total of 157 MPs voted to include the vote on the resignation on the day’s agenda.

GERB MP Toma Bikov, opposing the vote, said: “What will happen when this resignation is voted, tell me practically. Will the government stop functioning?

“I will tell you how it will stop functioning – form a government and immediately Boiko Borissov will not be Prime Minister. Do it people, you say you will govern, will you not govern?” Bikov said.

Speaker Iva Miteva, an MP for Slavi Trifonov’s party, said that it was necessary for Parliament to vote on the resignation, while Deputy Speaker Tatyana Doncheva – previously a member of three National Assemblies and currently a member of the “Rise Up! Mobsters Out!” group – said that it always had been practice to vote on the resignation of a government.

Nadezhda Yordanova of Democratic Bulgaria said : “When we have voted for resignation, the Cabinet performs its functions until the election of a new Cabinet. So the constitution very clearly says what will happen in the period from voting and acceptance of resignation to election of a new Cabinet”.

On April 16, fourteen GERB MPs were sworn in to replace the 14 who continue, for now, in office as Cabinet ministers. When Borissov’s government leaves office, the 14 current ministers will have the right to resume their seats as MPs.

Meanwhile, controversy continued over GERB’s stated intention to table legislation to introduce majoritarian voting in parliamentary elections.

For years, Trifonov campaigned for majoritarian voting over two rounds to elect MPs. On April 15, it became clear that while Borissov’s party now intended to propose it, it appeared that Trifonov’s party had dropped the idea.

On Facebook, Trifonov posted that if GERB wanted majoritarian voting, they should have introduced it five years ago.

In 2016, there was a three-question referendum in Bulgaria, including on the introduction of majoritarian voting. The outcome was not legally binding.

The parliamentary leader of Trifonov’s party, Toshko Yordanov, said that the party had not given up on the idea of majoritarian voting, but would approach it gradually and precisely.

Doncheva said that if there was to be majoritarian voting, the country would have to be divided into constituencies, and currently, the voting districts were not appropriate. She gave the example of the Vidin voting district, which elects four MPs but, Doncheva said, should elect two.

Krum Zarkov of the Bulgarian Socialist Party said that the party always had opposed majoritarian voting because such a system meant inadequate representation of voters.

“Slavi Trifonov understands that this is a huge amount of legislative work,” Zarkov said.

(Photo: parliament.bg)

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