Bulgarian MPs pass motion to resolve Cabinet constitutional conundrum

Bulgaria’s National Assembly passed on August 12 on a motion that ended the constitutional process of the first attempt to form a Cabinet in the current Parliament, allowing President Roumen Radev to hand a second mandate to form a government.

The motion voted by MPs, with 106 in favour, 60 opposed and one abstaining, simply stated that the mandate to form the government “ended without success.” It only passed at second attempt and it appeared briefly that the constitutional impasse could remain unresolved as the largest two parties in Parliament did not take part in the first vote.

The conundrum was created earlier this week, when cable television presenter Slavi Trifonov said his ITN party was withdrawing the nomination of the government his party had proposed, but did so after Radev signed the decree tabling the proposal for an investiture vote in Parliament.

On August 12, the ITN group left the sitting and one of the party’s MPs, Ivailo Vulchev, described the proceedings as a “farce.” He rejected the accusation that ITN was “running away” from the issue created by the party leader Trifonov, saying that there was “no need to debate, because there is no issue,” as quoted by Bulgarian National Radio.

The second-largest group in Parliament, former Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB, attempted to amend the motion to say that Parliament was rejecting the Cabinet line-up proposed by ITN.

After its amendment was shut down by Deputy Speaker Kristian Vigenin, GERB did not take part in the vote on the motion, which failed due to lack of quorum, as fewer than half of the National Assembly’s 240 members cast a vote.

Following a recess and roll call, the vote was held again. This time, GERB took part and voted against, with MP Toma Bikov saying that his party chose to act responsibly by participating, even though it could have prolonged the crisis indefinitely.

(Photo: parliament.bg)

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