Fifth sitting of Sofia city council again fails to elect council chairperson

The fifth sitting of Sofia city council, held on December 18, again failed to elect a council chairperson.

Elected on October 29, Sofia city council failed at sittings on November 13, 20, 30 and December 7 to elect a chairperson, a step essential for the council to be able to transact business.

This time, the council’s largest group, We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria-Spasi Sofia, which has 23 out of 61 seats, nominated Greti Stefanova, who as the oldest councillor has been the temporary presiding officer, as chairperson.

The group cited the example of the October 2022 election of Vezhdi Rashidov as Speaker of the National Assembly that resolved three days of impasse over the election of Parliament’s principal presiding officer. As the oldest MP, Rashidov had been presiding over the sitting.

In the December 18 vote, Stefanova got 22 votes and ITN councillor Plamen Danailov six votes. Thirty-one out of 61 votes are required for the election of a chairperson.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party group, which at previous sittings had nominated a candidate chairperson, boycotted the December 18 sitting in protest at the dismantling of the Soviet Army Monument in Sofia.

The Vuzrazhdane group tabled a declaration against the dismantling of the monument and quit the sitting, refusing to nominate a candidate chairperson.

As at the previous four sittings, GERB-UDF, which has said that it will be in opposition in the council, declined to nominate a candidate or to participate in the voting.

Should three months pass in which the city council would be deemed to not have met – which would be the result of not electing a council chairperson – it will be dissolved to open the way for fresh municipal elections.

(Photo: Sofia municipality)

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