Timeline of Oresharski's Cabinet: A Government in Constant Jeopardy
Bulgaria's Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski submitted a long-expected request to stand down on July 23, 2014 after weeks of uncertainty as to when he could take the step.
Even though developments around the South Stream gas pipeline and two of Bulgaria's major banks, attacked by a wave of rumors, deepened a crisis in governance and legitimacy, the road to a political impasse was triggered by events dating back to last summer, when a socialist-liberal government was formed to oppose center-right GERB, the party ranking first at the May 2012 early elections.
Here is a short selection of the developments which prompted a state of expectation that the cabinet is likely to step down.
May 23, 2013 - Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev handed to BSP-led Coalition for Bulgaria the mandate to forge a government. Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski was a Prime Minister candidate at that time. The BSP later struck an unwritten agreement with liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) that the two parties were to take part in a cabinet, with the DPS becoming a junior partner.
May 27, 2013 - Plamen Oresharski introduced experts to become part of what had been described as a "program cabinet".
May 29, 2013 - MPs approved Oresharski's candidacy. Among his main promises were that his government would tackle unemployment, would be more open to media and would avoid dibious appointments.
June 14, 2013 - Parliament's decision to appoint controversial MP Delyan Peevski as head of the national security agency DANS, taken upon a government proposal, triggered huge-scale protests across Bulgaria that grew (though only in the capital Sofia) into a movement calling for the cabinet to resign. Demonstrators claimed their actions were also targeting widespread corruption and "obscure" deals.
July 23, 2014 - Ten people were injured in Sofia after protesters surrounded Parliament, trapping MPs and ministers inside and preventing them from leaving the building. Clashes with police ensued as a white bus tried to drive politicians away, but was blocked by the crowd. Citizens even formed a barricade around Parliament to seal it off. Many demonstrators argue excessive violence was used by police in its push to disperse the multitude. Government members called the developments a "provocation" and categorically refused to resign.
May 25, 2014 - The BSP suffered a terrible defeat at the European Parliament elections, with its results sinking near those of partners from the DPS. The opposition, and also socialist party members, renewed calls for a resignation.
June 5, 2014 - Bulgaria's co-ruling DPS party called for early elections, and its leader Lyutvi Mestan argued a full term in office of Plamen Oresharski's cabinet was "impossible".
June 6, 2014 - BSP Chairman Sergey Stanishev confirmed a snap general poll was not unlikely, but did not point an suitable date.
June 29, 2014 - MPs agreed that early Parliament elections are to be held on October 5 during consultations at Bulgaria's Presidency which were prompted by problems at Corporate Commerical Bank (KTB) and First Investment Bank (FIBank), but were planned beforehand to seek a way out of the political crisis.
July 23, 2014 - The Prime Minister introduced his government's resignation into Parliament.
July 24, 2014 - Lawmakers at the National Assembly overwhelmingly approved Oresharski's motion to step down.
In just fourteen months, the government has survived a total of five no-confidence motions triggered by legislation in investment, regional development, security, energy, and fiscal policies.
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