Opening of the 48th Bulgarian Parliament (UPDATED)

Politics | October 19, 2022, Wednesday // 09:46
Bulgaria: Opening of the 48th Bulgarian Parliament (UPDATED) @BNT, BGNES

The 48th National Assembly opens today with a solemn meeting. After the announcement of the election results on October 2, the current composition of the parliament includes 7 parties. The 240 people's elected representatives took an oath to respect the Constitution and to be guided by the interests of the people.

The oldest deputy has the honor of opening the new Bulgarian parliament. In the 48th NA it is Vezhdi Rashidov. After registration, Rashidov said that there are 235 people's representatives in the hall.

Given my already silver hair, it fell to me to open the 48th NS. I've lived a long time, I've seen a lot, and I'm still looking for answers. As a little boy, I dreamed of discovering the world, fighting to become better and winning. I remember the humiliation and the change of names, the revolutionary impulse of the kindergarten in front of “Crystal”, the frosty winter of 1997, the hunger strike of the Supreme Court, the protests, the songs and the people behind the microphones. Wisdom is born in memory, and it is built in memories. We changed our country, we overcame crises and fought disasters, we raised some and brought others down. And so, word by word, stone by stone, we built our lives”, said Rashidov.

And again we wonder how, why, where, we plunged into supportive arguments and spells, filled everything with insults and caused suffering, so please, colleagues - think. Aggression breeds only aggression, negation leads to negation of negation. So - how long? We often lose our direction, today is the electricity, tomorrow is the bread, confused in arguments we sink deeper and deeper into the familiar dystopia. Therefore, I urge you, colleagues - think! On the days when we face each other, let us remember that everyone has dignity, loved ones, and behind each of us sit thousands of people. Let's fight, but let's not insult each other, let's not kill each other”, urged Rashidov.

“I am asking you for humility, reason, let this time come out better than all this. Have a good time and may God protect Bulgaria," said Vezhdi Rashidov.

After that, President Rumen Radev addressed the MPs from the tribune. He commented that every beginning is filled with hope. He expressed hope that the 48th NA will lead us out of the spiral of political instability. He emphasizes that the deputies have several important tasks - the budget for the next year, the fight against poverty, high prices, the growth of crime, and the measures must be decisive and immediate. He added that, if necessary, the caretaker cabinet is ready with its draft budget.

The main priority of the work of parliament and government is ensuring national security. Already today, the caretaker government will submit the adopted program for priority investment costs of the Ministry of Defense and the project for the second eight aircraft. This parliament must decide whether Bulgaria will lose its air sovereignty. I hope the warmongers will be a minority in the 48th National Assembly”, said the President.

On behalf of the GERB-SDS parliamentary group Desislava Atanasova called for unity and peace. “We will strive for agreement here, and for peace in the country”, said Atanasova.

She defined the situation as critical. “People don't want to pay the price of political opposition, they made us all work together and no single party was able to form a government on its own”, she added.

At their first meeting, the deputies must elect a speaker of the parliament. The election of the speaker is the first test for the new people's elected officials, whether they can generate a majority around which to form a government. There are four nominees for the highest post in the country - Rosen Zhelyazkov from GERB-SDS, Nikola Minchev - from "We Continue the Change", Kristian Vigenin - from BSP and Petar Petrov - from "Vazrazhdane".

On behalf of "We Continue the Change", Kiril Petkov stated that before the elections, everyone gave their word to solve people's problems, each party through its program, visions and opportunities. "WCC will be a constructive and predictable opposition, guided by 2 principles - to justify the trust of the voters and to work to solve the real problems of all Bulgarians." They will insist that taxes not be increased, and they will also work for a ceiling on electricity and gas prices.

The leader of the DPS, Mustafa Karadayi, stated that the people have demanded dialogue, agreement, unification and union. However, it appeared that lessons were not learned. "The voters elected us to solve their problems, it is irresponsible to declare yourself an opposition. From the DPS, we are ready for a dialogue on behalf of the citizens, we have proven it over time", commented Karadayi. He called on the parties to sit down at the negotiating table.

Kostadin Kostadinov from "Vazrazhdane" stated that "Bulgaria is disappearing at the rate of 214 people per day, a devastating war is being waged near us, and inflation is eating away at the fragile foundations of the Bulgarian economy. Against this background, all week the new deputies have been dealing with the topic of whether the Russian ambassador should attend the first meeting of the National Assembly. Bulgaria needs new leaders, we are here to rebuild Bulgaria and show that politics should not be a struggle for positions, but for ideals," Kostadinov said. According to him, the country has no more time to lose.

BSP leader Kornelia Ninova said that the institutions must answer whether they can deal with the crises and provide security and well-being to the Bulgarian people. "We can do it, if each power takes its responsibility and in interaction, and not in war, we move in the same direction", Ninova said. She emphasizes that it is important how the priorities for Bulgaria will be arranged in the National Assembly. She placed 4 emphases - the well-being of the Bulgarian people, financial stability, the fight against corruption and guaranteeing peace for the Bulgarian people.

Hristo Ivanov from "Democratic Bulgaria" emphasized the sharp opposition on the international stage. "We cannot close our eyes to this war and to the new era that is beginning", he declared. He called on Bulgaria to have an active membership in the EU and NATO, to take care of its own interest in them and to be responsible members of these unions. "Another fundamental crisis - the political one, after another wave of mass protests, Bulgaria cannot form a permanent government for months, we are on the way with a high probability to go to the next elections", said Hristo Ivanov.

On behalf of "Bulgarian Rise" Stefan Yanev, said that the Bulgarian people are waiting for decisions on the cost of living, incomes, and the future of Bulgaria's children. They will focus on three main themes - security, justice and solidarity. "There are 10-15 individuals in our society who divide us, we will work to audit these people", commented Yanev. "Whoever works in the interest of civil society is welcome in the 'Bulgarian Rise' boat, let's sail against the current together," he added.

The 48th National Assembly failed to elect a Speaker of the Parliament after two procedures with two re-votes each, creating an unprecedented situation. Finally, the presiding Vezhdi Rashidov announced that the procedure will continue tomorrow, at 10:00 a.m.

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