Bulgarian Parliament Approves Constitutional Amendments at Third Reading

Politics » DOMESTIC | December 16, 2015, Wednesday // 10:53
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Parliament Approves Constitutional Amendments at Third Reading The plenary chamber of the Bulgarian Nationa Assembly. Photo: BGNES

Bulgarian Parliament approved at third reading on Wednesday the amendments to the constitution concerning the reform of the judiciary.

The amendments were overwhelmingly approved with 189 MPs voting in favour, 39 lawmakers against, while 1 abstained.

The largest opposition party, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), voted against the amendments together with two non-affiliated MPs - Velizar Enchev and Georgi Kadiev.

During the voting, some of the MPs from the junior coalition partner, the Reformist Bloc (RB), declared themselves as absent although they were present in the plenary chamber.

The voting of the amendments at second reading, which took place last week, led to the resignation of Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov.

Ivanov resigned due to the failure of MPs to approve all the amendments, which had been proposed by him, in particular the distribution of parliamentary and political quotas within the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS).

This has led to tensions within the ruling coalition as Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB), one of the parties constituting the RB, withdrew its support for the cabinet and became an opposition party.

Later on Wednesday, the MPs are also expected to approve the new justice minister.

Ekaterina Zaharieva, whose nomination was presented by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov on Wednesday, is expected to be approved as the successor of Ivanov.

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Tags: Boyko Borisov, DSB, resignation, Hristo Ivanov, RB, BSP, judiciary, reform, constitution, parliament, Bulgaria, Ekaterina Zaharieva, VSS

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