Bulgaria’s Parliament changes rules in move against pro-Kremlin party

At a sitting on January 24, the Bulgarian Parliament approved an amendment to the National Assembly regulations ending the practice of the chairpersonship of the committee on the oversight of security services rotating among its members.

The amendment had been approved a few hours earlier at a special sitting of Parliament’s legal affairs committee.

The step, approved by 12 votes in favour, five against and with one abstention at the committee meeting, was taken after Nikolai Drenchev, an MP for pro-Kremlin minority party Vuzrazhdane, last week became chairperson of the committee as a result of the regulation on rotation.

The practice of the rotating chairpersonship has been in place for three parliaments, since the 46th National Assembly, elected in July 2021.

Backing for abolishing the rotating chairpersonship of the committee came from GERB-UDF, We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria, and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms.

At the committee meeting, Vuzrazhdane MP Petar Petrov described the scrapping of the rotation regulation as “political and anti-Vuzrazhdane lustration”.

The step to scrap the regulation was taken after Movement for Rights and Freedoms parliamentary leader Delyan Peevski said that the chairpersonship being held by Vuzrazhdane was a threat to national security.

At the time, Drenchev responded by saying that as an ordinary member of the committee, he would have the same access to classified information that he would have as its chairperson.

(Screenshot of the January 24 sitting of the committee)

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