GERB-UDF’s Nazaryan elected Speaker of Bulgaria’s 50th National Assembly

On the June 20 continuation of its first sitting, Bulgaria’s 50th National Assembly elected Raya Nazaryan, of Boiko Borissov’s GERB-United Democratic Forces coalition, as its Speaker.

The latest in a succession of attempts to elect a Speaker produced a vote of 131 in favour of Nazaryan, 66 against, with 39 abstentions.

The votes in favour of Nazaryan came from GERB-UDF, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and Parliament’s second-smallest group, populist ITN.

With one exception, the We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria group voted against, as did the Bulgarian Socialist Party and Parliament’s smallest group, populist-nationalist Velichie.

Pro-Kremlin party Vuzrazhdane abstained, as did one WCC-DB MP.

Three other nominees were defeated: Petar Petrov, nominated by Vuzrazhdane; Silvi Kirilov, nominated by ITN and who – as Parliament’s oldest member – presided over the sitting pending the election of a Speaker; and Viktoria Vassileva, nominated by Velichie.

Nazaryan is a Varna-born lawyer, aged 38, who graduated from the University of National and World Economy. She has specialised in property, inheritance and insurance law.

She entered politics in 2022 and was a member of the 48th and 49th National Assemblies. In the June 9 2024 early parliamentary elections, Nazaryan was elected from the 24th electoral district in Sofia.

Borissov earlier said that were Nazaryan not elected Speaker, his group would not proceed with an attempt to propose a government. As Parliament’s largest group, GERB-UDF is entitled to be the first to receive a mandate to seek to form a government.

The rules governing Bulgaria’s National Assembly entitle each parliamentary group to a Deputy Speaker.

In the 50th National Assembly, the Deputy Speakers are Rositsa Kirova (GERB-UDF), Yordan Tsonev (MRF), Atanas Atanassov (WCC-DB), Tsoncho Ganev (Vuzrazhdane), Dragomir Stoynev (Bulgarian Socialist Party), Andrei Chorbanov (ITN) and Viktoria Vassileva (Velichie).

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The Sofia Globe staff

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