Bulgarian Opposition Foils Parliament's 'Election Break'

Politics » DOMESTIC | October 13, 2016, Thursday // 12:30
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Opposition Foils Parliament's 'Election Break' File photo, BGNES

The Bulgarian Parliament will hold an extraordinary session on Friday, October 14, at 09:00, despite lawmakers' surprising decision to call off all plenary meetings for four weeks.

The two main opposition parties of Bulgaria have managed to gather enough signatures to overturn MPs' earlier decision to end plenary sessions for the time of elections.

With 51 signatures submitted to Parliament, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) have secured the support they need to call a one-off, extraordinary parliamentary session.

On Wednesday, the legislature voted to adjourn all of its plenary sessions until after the presidential elections, even though committee meetings will go according to schedule. The decision effectively blocks the adoption of new laws for the time of the campaign.

However, the acting Parliament Speaker was obliged to schedule a session within seven days.

The BSP and DPS demand that three items be added to the session's agenda, namely an end to the holiday, debates on the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and parliamentary control.

GERB, Bulgaria's main ruling party, backed the holiday proposal put forward by nationalist Ataka party, citing the need to avoid any use of the rostrum for campaigning.

But the opposition retorts that if Parliament takes a break, so should the government, as it could win votes through its recent decision to allocate more funding for doctors and teachers.

Tsetska Tsacheva, the "regular" Parliament Speaker, has taken a leave from the legislature as she is running for President on GERB's ticket.

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Tags: Tsetska Tsacheva, election campaign, Presidential elections, holiday, DPS, BSP, GERB, parliament
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