Bulgaria’s National Assembly voted on June 6 to elect a government headed by We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria’s Nikolai Denkov, a government resulting from a deal between WCC-DB and Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF, the two largest parliamentary groups.
MPs first voted to elect Denkov as Prime Minister, then to approve the structure of the Cabinet, then the line-up of the Cabinet itself.
Of the 240 members of Parliament, 200 took part in the vote on the government.
There were 131 votes in favour and 69 against with no abstentions.
All 69 GERB-UDF MPs voted, 68 in favour and one against. The dissenting vote came from Delyan Dobrev.
Of WCC-DB’s 64 MPs, 61 voted, all for. Of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms’ 36 MPs, two – party leader Mustafa Karadayi and Delyan Peevski – voted, both in favour.
All 37 MPs from pro-Kremlin party Vuzrazhdane voted against, as did 19 MPs from the Bulgarian Socialist Party and all 11 from Parliament’s smallest group, ITN. One vote against came from Radostin Vassilev, who recently quit the WCC-DB parliamentary group and now sits as an independent.
After the vote, the newly-elected Prime Minister and Cabinet took the oath of office. The Bulgarian and European Union anthems were played.
Before the Cabinet took the oath, President Roumen Radev – who had repeatedly vocally opposed the nomination of the Denkov government – was seen leaving his seat in Parliament’s gallery.
At the opening of debate, WCC co-leader Kiril Petkov, introducing the candidacy of Denkov, told the House: “In this room, we constantly discuss that Bulgaria is a country that currently has many problems to solve, but we rarely talk about Bulgaria being a country with many advantages and opportunities. I deeply believe that Bulgaria is a country with a bright future”.
Denkov said: “Today is the day when we can give hope to the millions of Bulgarians who want our country to have a regular government. Today is the day to choose a cabinet that has the courage and expertise to make the important decisions and bear the responsibility for them”.
He gave a commitment that the Cabinet would submit a Budget with a three per cent deficit, would work for Bulgaria’s entry into Schengen and the euro zone, work in close coordination with the National Assembly to implement the legislative programme, and amendments to the constitution. The key goal of the constitutional amendments is judicial reform.
“Many compromises have been made on both sides to ensure security and perspective for the country. Bulgaria needs a stable Parliament. The most urgent is the adoption of the endlessly delayed Budget for this year, on which depends salaries, pensions, money for road repairs, schools, kindergartens,” Denkov said.
The vote came at the close of about three hours of debate. The speeches of those opposed to the new government – Vuzrazhdane, the Bulgarian Socialist Party and ITN – were largely composed of insults, of varying degrees of vulgarity.
The agreement between WCC-DB and GERB-UDF envisages the Cabinet serving at least 18 months in office. Denkov will be Prime Minister for the first nine months, after which GERB-UDF’s Maria Gabriel is to be elected to the post. The two coalitions have agreed on a Euro-Atlantic, pro-EU and pro-Nato programme.
For the line-up of the Denkov Cabinet and brief CVs of the ministers, see The Sofia Globe story here.
(Main photo: parliament.bg)
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