Extraordinary Sitting of Bulgaria’s Parliament Fails for Lack of Quorum
Bulgaria’s Parliament failed on August 13 to secure the necessary quorum to hold an extraordinary sitting. The MPs from the ruling coalition partners, GERB and the United Patriots, were not present.
The special sitting was convened at the request of the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). The agenda was supposed to include two items: update of the budget and a hearing of the Prime minister Boyko Borissov and Interior Minister Hristo Terziyski regarding “exercised police violence against journalists and protesters during GERB's National Conference.
Parliament made two attempts to secure quorum.
Of the 121 MPs required, 78 MPs registered as present in the
plenary chamber, including MPs from BSP and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, two MPs from GERB and one from Volya party.
The registrations were made by hand-written signatures, instead of the usual electronic registration because as of September plenary sittings are to be held in another building of Parliament and the electronic registration system is being moved to the new building.
After the Speaker of the Parliament, Tsveta Karayancheva, announced that a sitting will not take place for the lack of quorum, BSP MPs shouted, "Resign". Karayancheva replied that the socialist MPs are wrong to shout "Resign" because the sitting is on their motion and that they should have done everything possible to ensure quorum.
GERB refused to provide a quorum for the extraordinary sitting with two arguments. According to them, the Parliament is not an investigative body that should establish the circumstances of the violence perpetrated against journalists and citizens during the party conference. They said that if the cabinet asked for a budget update, it would request an extraordinary meeting itself.
Before the sitting, in a special declaration, the IMRO party (a constituent member of the United Patriots alliance, which a partner in the governing coalition) stated that it was not time for desertion and that they would not take part in the "internal party struggles" of the opposition BSP.
The BSP asked GERB why they did not secure a quorum, since the main argument of the coalition to stay in power is precisely the need for the parliament to continue working and adopt socio-economic measures to overcome the crisis.
The BSP will decide whether to request a new extraordinary sitting of the Parliament./BNT
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