Bulgaria's GERB Urged to Attend Own No-Confidence Vote
The Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament Mihail Mikov has urged the leader of the opposition GERB party Boyko Borisov to have his lawmakers register Thursday for the no-confidence vote against the government.
The invitation has been extended in an official letter.
Earlier in the day, the opposition, formerly-ruling center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) who initiated the no-confidence motion against the Socialist-endorsed Cabinet of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, attended the sitting but did not register for voting.
This led to a lack of quorum and postponement of the vote and the entire parliamentary session
In his letter, Mikov reminds that according to Parliamentary Code, debates on the motion must be held no earlier than 3 days and no later than 7 days after it has been tabled, thus the deadline is Thursday. If GERB boycotts the session, the vote will be scrapped.
He writes the rule aims at preventing the majority from impeding the vote and benefits those who have requested it. Mikov blames GERB for disregarding the rules of parliamentary democracy and for threatening their self-initiated move.
GERB leader and former Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, remains firm the boycott was the right thing to do because the extreme nationalist Ataka is holding the government hostage.
Ataka lawmakers, who usually secure the quorum, are on a working visit to Brussels. Their parliamentary group sent an official notice to Mikov earlier that they would not take part in Parliament's work this week, prompting commentators to wonder why Borisov decided his MPs would not register since the absence was known in advance.
Even if Ataka back's GERB's motion, the chances of the no-confidence vote succeeding are negligible because these parties together have a total of 120 MPs and need the support of one more lawmaker.
The other two parties in the Parliament, which are backing the government – the left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, the liberal predominantly ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, together also have 120 MPs.
The quorum for a no-confidence vote is 121, however DPS MP Delyan Peevski is not attending the sessions as his status remains unclear after the Parliament annulled its decision to appoint him Chief of the State Agency for National Security, DANS.
Because of the above and because Ataka are in Brussels, the quorum on Thursday will depend solely on GERB.
Meanwhile, the former Health Minister in the GERB Cabinet, Desislava Atanasova, announced that her party was mulling a new no-confidence motion to be tabled in two months.
"This time it will be about the healthcare policy of the government if it lasts that long. It will be backed then by all Bulgarian patients," said she before Nova TV.
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