Decision on inviting Zelenskyy to address Bulgarian Parliament postponed

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will not be invited to deliver a video address to the October 19 first sitting of Bulgaria’s newly-elected Parliament, with a decision on whether to invite him to do so at a later date being left to a yet-to-be constitution council of presiding officers and parliamentary group leaders.

This emerged after a meeting on October 14, called by Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition – the largest group in the new Parliament – to discuss its proposal to invite Zelenskyy to address the House at its opening sitting.

There were reservations among the other parliamentary groups about the GERB-UDF proposal, with Democratic Bulgaria, which initiated the move to not invite the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors to the opening, saying that it was not against inviting Zelenskyy, but Parliament should first consider the issue of providing military aid to Ukraine.

We Continue the Change backed the idea of inviting Zelenskyy, but preferred the decision to be taken by the council of presiding officers and leaders of parliamentary groups. That council may be constituted only after the presiding officers have been elected, scheduled to happen at the first sitting.

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms was understood to be in favour of inviting Zelenskyy.

Three out of the seven parliamentary groups boycotted the October 14 meeting to discuss the question – pro-Russian Vuzrazhdane, the Bulgarian Socialist Party and Stefan Yanev’s Bulgaria Ascending.

Bulgarian Socialist Party Kornelia Ninova said that the meeting was “a complete waste of time” and said Parliament should be dealing with other issues, such as inflation, incomes and a new Budget.

Bulgaria Ascending, Parliament’s smallest group, said that it believed that “our voters want to hear as a matter of urgency how we will begin to solve their immediate problems such as rising prices, inflation and the overall economic crisis” and said that discussion of political issues should be left to the plenary.

Ahead of the meeting, President Roumen Radev, commenting on the idea of inviting Zelenskyy, said: “I have the feeling that the parties are competing to see which one will turn its back on the real problems of the Bulgarians faster”.

(Screenshot of Zelenskyy via his Facebook page)

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