Bulgarian Political Leaders Agree on Joint Project to Change Constitution
Political parties in Bulgaria’s parliament have agreed to submit a joint project for changing the constitution to move forward with reform of the judiciary.
“We took into account everyone’s opinion and the compromise decisions each of the parties asked for,” Prime Minister Boyko Borisov told reporters after a meeting with deputy premier Meglena Kuneva, Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva and representatives of political parties represented in the 240-seat parliament.
The joint project will be submitted by Borisov’s GERB and Kuneva’s Reformist Bloc, the two parties forming Bulgaria’s minority coalition cabinet, plus ABV and the Patriotic Front, which lend support to the government in parliament, plus opposition DPS and Bulgarian Democratic Centre. The six parties have a combined total of 185 seats in parliament
The Socialists, the largest opposition party in parliament with 39 seats, were not part of Thursday’s deal.
The project needs the support of at least 160 of the 240 MPs to pass.
Reformist Bloc co-chairman Radan Kanev said consensus had been reached on three of the four points in the proposed joint project: dividing the Supreme Judicial Council into a College of Judges and a College of Prosecutors, direct election of the judges’ quota and granting increased powers to the inspection unit of the SJC.
The political parties have also agreed to ask the Constitutional Court to rule on a fourth point relating to the powers of the Supreme Council of Attorneys to lodge appeals with it. The decision of Bulgaria’s top court will become part of the project before the second and final vote on the bill, Kanev said.
According to the European Commission, noted that parliament support for the proposed changes to the constitution will be a sign whether there is political will to reform the judiciary, Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov said last week.
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