Bulgarian Parliament Approves Government Resignation
Lawmakers overwhelmingly backed Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oreshaski's resignation submitted on Wednesday evening.
With a huge majority of 180-8 (8 abstained), they gave green light to the move submitted by Oresharski on Wednesday afternoon.
Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov had announced the move was included in the agenda, but cast doubt that any other legislation could be voted due to lack of "political will".
Opposition GERB party had threatened to boycott the plenary session if "resignation" is not a point of the agenda.
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), the junior partners in the government led by socialist BSP, say they will back the step.
Ataka also decided to take part in the vote, after boycotting its regular activity for weeks.
Oresharski himself attended the session in Parliament, alongside deputies and other cabinet members.
Voting procedures, however, kicked off with debates on other bills and legislative proposals.
Debates on the resignation started twenty minutes later.
Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) Parliament Group Chair Atanas Merdzhanov made a statement in which he put the blame for the current situation on the opposition, which had prevented Parliament from carrying out its normal activities.
He described the behavior of GERB leader Boyko Borisov, who has repeatedly led his lawmakers out of the plenary hall to boycott parliamentary motions and debates, as "political chalga", referring to a type of music widely perceived to be of poor quality.
GERB MP and former Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov (who took the rostrum for a statement after Borisov left the hall as debates started) refuted Merdzhanov's claims.
"Bulgaria's Parliament will remain in history as it is the one surrounded by a fence for the longest time," he argued.
He added resignation was a normal step for a government which saw 404 days of "protests" out of its total 421 days in office.
DPS leader Lyutvi Mestan warned that Bulgarian politicians now have the obligation to seek the adequate "formula of governance", having in mind that an upcoming general vote could see developments similar to those of 2013, with no party reaching an outright majority to form a government.
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