Bulgaria’s PM hopes no-confidence motion will not pass, but has ‘Plan B’

Speaking to reporters after the close of an eight-hour debate in Parliament on a motion of no confidence in his government, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said that he hoped that the motion would not pass, but if it did, “it’s just one step”.

Should the motion – voting on which is scheduled to begin at 7.10pm on June 22 – be approved, the first mandate to seek to form a government would go to the Kiril Petkov-Assen Vassilev We Continue the Change (WCC) party, as the largest group in Parliament.

“We still have seven days to speak to the various MPs, especially from ITN,” Petkov said, referring to Slavi Trifonov’s party that quit the ruling coalition, but some of whose MPs have defected to support the government.

For his government to survive, Petkov needs six more MPs to side with the government.

“I hope there are more people who are hesitant,” he said.

Referring to the no-confidence debate, Petkov said: “We heard a lot of arguments, they didn’t have much weight or much meaning”.

People seemed to have been talking for the sake of saying something, he said.

WCC’s Plan B was to get the first mandate and continue with the strong initiative to achieve a majority of independent MPs.

“We cannot make a deal with people who were part of the coalition model, we would be lying to ourselves and our voters, this cannot happen.

“The other thing that cannot happen is to make a deal with the MRF (Movement for Rights and Freedoms). They hope for that, but it can’t happen”.

Petkov said that the conditions set by Vuzrazhdane, the pro-Kremlin party that is the smallest group in the current Parliament, “to leave Nato and the EU, are absurd”.

He said that there were decent people in ITN who were currently afraid of whether and how to make the correct decision, because everyone understood that what Trifonov did – in quitting the ruling coalition – was a huge risk for the state, was reckless and a symbol of behind-the-scenes dealings.

The evening of June 20 saw the second consecutive day of pro-government protests, this time outside Alexander Nevsky cathedral, with turnout vastly outnumbering that of the anti-government protest by Vuzrazhdane, held in front of the National Assembly building. A further pro-government protest is planned for the evening of June 22, scheduled to start about 40 minutes before voting in the House begins.

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