3 More Renegades to Abandon Bulgaria's Opposition GERB
At least three other Members of the Bulgarian Parliament might leave the opposition GERB party and become independent.
This move will ensure quorum in the Parliament, revealed for Pressa (Press) daily Georgi Markov, who was the first one to abandon the group of former Prime Minister and leader of the center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party (GERB), Boyko Borisov.
The renegades' votes in plenary hall could prove decisive because initially, the ruling partners, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the liberal, predominantly ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) together had 120 MPs.
GERB and the far-right extremist nationalist Ataka also had 120 MPs, making Ataka the parliamentary kingmaker.
Markov, whose departure from GERB was followed by Svetlin Tanchev, could secure the quorum with two votes; this is, however, risky because lawmakers are often absent or sick.
According to Markov, many in Borisov's group were very dissatisfied with the party's politics.
"These are people who want to help their electoral districts and not to serve puppets in Sofia," he said.
One of the potential rebels is Burgas MP Semir Abumelih.
"There is no such thing, but if I decide to get out of the Parliament, I will," he explained before Pressa. Abumelih is a doctor, owner of several private hospitals in Burgas, and has already clashed several times with the official position of the group in the field of healthcare.
Heated debates are expected at the upcoming conference of Borisov's party if the latter attempts to eliminate from the leadership the people close to GERB Deputy Chairman and former Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov. Lawmakers forecast 10 more possible defectors in mid-February.
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