Bulgarian Parliament Session Misfires after Quorum Fails
For yet another day, the Bulgarian Parliament failed start work Friday due to lack of quorum.
113 Members of the Parliament registered in plenary hall while the required minimum is 120 of a total of 240.
Lawmakers from the formerly-ruling, opposition center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, did not register once again, prompting Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov to announce the parliamentary session will not be held Friday and to adjourn the MPs, Nova TV reports.
According to the adopted agenda, the session was supposed to begin with the so-called parliamentary control where ministers from the Cabinet respond to MPs' questions.
Interior Minister, Tsvetlin Yovchev, was scheduled to report on the unauthorized use and storage of surveillance devices and wiretapping of citizens during the term of his predecessor in the GERB Cabinet, Tsvetan Tsvetanov. Yovchev was also to explain if police have any evidence of death threats against Tsvetanov.
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GERB seems to be sabotaging the parliament in a basic way. From its snap resignation in February, the party has repeatedly sought to return to power by whatever means. Including a series of recent moves that seem more like antics in a political circus, such as the no-confidence vote game. The protests since June have increasingly appeared to some observers to be working ultimately in the same direction, especially the call for snap elections under present circumstances. A new snap election where GERB hammers together some kind of center-right coalition.
GERB probably hopes whatever electoral code reform is adopted will ensure that the new parties or individuals who may enter parliament will be largely right of center, and thus potential coalition partners. That seems a reasonable assumption. There are basically no formations on the left probably capable of gaining electoral support, even if the barrier is lowered to 3%. The Bulgarska Levitca and the Union of Communists in Bulgaria and Movement 'Che Guevara' (СКБ), for example, the two groupings on the radical left, both polled 0.17% in the May 12th poll, about 6,000 votes each.
Strange that the народно събрание and the U.S. Congress both face a kind of internal sabotage by parties on the right at the moment.
Wisdom might suggest lowering the barrier to 2% for party formations, as in Israel, which could lead to several new formations in the parliament. Israel presently has 12 such parties, very motley assembly of opinion and electoral voice. But given the 5% barrier in the EU in some countries, like Germany, lowering the barrier here significantly seems unlikely.