Live Feed: Day Two of the First Session of Bulgaria's Parliament to Elect a Speaker (UPDATED)

Politics | June 20, 2024, Thursday // 11:03
Bulgaria: Live Feed: Day Two of the First Session of Bulgaria's Parliament to Elect a Speaker (UPDATED)

Today marks the second day of the inaugural session of the 50th National Assembly, after failing to elect a speaker yesterday. Raya Nazaryan's candidacy garnered support from GERB, DPS, and Hristo Prodanov of BSP, totaling 116 votes initially. However, Prodanov voted "against" in the second round.

Consequently, Nazaryan currently has 115 confirmed votes, falling five short of the required majority for election. Nikolay Markov from "Greatness" did not take the oath as a deputy, making him ineligible to participate in the voting. He will be able to do so once the parliament is constitutionally established.

Follow our updates below...

Update: At the conclusion of the inaugural plenary session, the parliamentary groups of the 50th National Assembly have been officially established. Notably, Jevdet Chakarov from DPS and Atanas Atanasov from "We Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria", along with Kiril Petkov and Asen Vassilev, did not assume vice-presidential roles.

Boyko Borissov leads the GERB parliamentary group, with vice-presidents including Temenuzka Petkova, Raya Nazaryan, Denitsa Sacheva, and Rumen Hristov.

Delyan Peevski heads the DPS group, supported by deputies Iskra Mihailov, Yordan Tsonev, Halil Letifov, Hamid Hamid, and Erten Anisova. Despite his leadership role in DPS, Chakarov retains his status as an ordinary deputy, a position unchanged from the previous parliament.

Nikolai Denkov chairs the "We Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria" group, with vice-chairmen Bozhidar Bojanov, Lyudmila Ilieva, Stoyu Stoev, and Kalina Konstantinova.

Kostadin Kostadinov leads the "Revival" group, supported by vice-presidents Petar Petrov and Iskra Mihailova.

In the BSP group, Borislav Gutsanov assumes the role of chairman, with Ivan Ivanov serving as his deputy.

Toshko Yordanov remains at the helm of the "There Is Such a People" group, with Stanislav Balabanov appointed as his deputy.

Nikolay Markov assumes leadership of the "Greatness" group, supported by vice-chairmen Darin Georgiev and Georgi Kukov.

Update: Nikolay Markov, leader of the "Greatness" parliamentary group, revealed that representatives from three political entities contacted him before the start of the plenary session, urging him to back Raya Nazaryan and the government. Markov did not disclose the identities of these groups or individuals.

He stated that he faced blackmail involving compromising material related to himself and Mr. Mihailov, accompanied by a recorded conversation. Mihailov later confirmed that the recording was fabricated and not authentic.

Update: GERB leader Boyko Borissov expressed gratitude to the parliamentary group of "There Is Such a People" for their crucial support in electing Raya Nazaryan as Speaker of the Parliament. He acknowledged their responsibility and efforts, noting their pivotal role in enabling the start of the constitutional procedures.

Responding to inquiries about potential compromises with Slavi Trifonov's party in the event of a third mandate, Borissov indicated that such a gesture was not solicited and thus would not be reciprocated. He emphasized GERB's current focus solely on the first mandate, which he described as the only viable option at present.

During breaks in the meeting, Borissov mentioned that he dispatched Denitsa Sacheva and Temenuzka Petkova to engage with "We Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria" in an attempt to persuade their support for Nazaryan. He expressed expectations for a positive response from them. A coalition representative confirmed the occurrence of this discussion during the meeting's recess.

Update:Nikolay Markov from "Greatness" was sworn in today after arriving late yesterday, necessitating intervention from parliament's quaestors to facilitate his oath-taking.

During today's formation of parliamentary groups, Markov was nominated as the leader of "Greatness", despite his delayed start as a deputy.

Update:Following the election of the parliament's speaker, MPs moved swiftly to appoint the deputy speakers. Raya Nazaryan's team of seven vice-presidents includes:

  • Rositsa Kirova from GERB
  • Yordan Tsonev representing DPS
  • Atanas Atanasov from WCC-DB
  • Tsoncho Ganev of "Revival"
  • Dragomir Stoynev from BSP
  • Andrey Chorbanov representing TISP
  • Victoria Vassilev from "Greatness"

Update:In her inaugural address as Speaker of the Parliament, Raya Nazaryan emphasized the significance of today's vote in facilitating the smooth progress of political processes and ensuring the effective functioning of state power.

She underscored the responsibility of the members of the 50th National Assembly to work towards stabilizing political processes and meeting societal expectations for stability, security, and justice, regardless of their political affiliations.

Nazaryan pledged to uphold a dialogue-oriented and fair approach in her role as Speaker, emphasizing her commitment to adhering strictly to the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament, the Constitution, and all relevant laws.

Update: After two recesses and extensive negotiations spanning two days, GERB, DPS, and "There Is Such a People" (TISP) succeeded in electing Raya Nazaryan as the speaker of the parliament.

She secured the position as first among equals with 131 votes in favor, 66 against, and 39 abstentions. Opposition came from "We Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria" (WCC-DB), the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), "Greatness," and Kaloyan Metodiev. MPs from "Revival" and one from the coalition abstained.

Following the vote, Asen Vassilev addressed the parliament, stating that Slavi Trifonov's party had revealed its true intentions. "Congratulations on your 'rasping'," he remarked, recalling the initial motives behind "There Is Such a Nation's" entry into politics three years ago i.e. removing the "GERB model" from power.

Update: "There Is Such a People" (TISP) will provide the necessary five votes for the election of Raya Nazaryan, announced Toshko Yordanov. Addressing the parliament, he stated that his party will support all candidates to initiate the work of the National Assembly.

Yordanov also declared that TISP will not endorse a government formed by GERB and DPS, criticizing it as "political maneuvering." He urged "We Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria" (WCC-DB) to join in rejecting such a coalition. In response, Nikolai Denkov accused TISP of attempting to conceal its alliance agenda.

Earlier, four candidates were proposed for the role of speaker, with TISP nominating Silvi Kirilov. GERB reaffirmed Raya Nazaryan as their candidate, while "Revival" put forward Petar Petrov, continuing from the previous day. "Greatness" nominated Viktoria Vasileva.

Update: The leader of "Revival" acknowledged that the smallest political group in parliament, "Greatness," is expected to endorse Raya Nazaryan's bid for Speaker of Parliament. He warned that such a move would constitute "political betrayal."

Speaking at the National Assembly, Kostadin Kostadinov described the failure to reach consensus on electing a president as a crisis in the Bulgarian political system. He remarked that current events suggest turmoil, questioning whether another political betrayal is imminent. He added that the unfolding developments promise an intriguing day ahead.

Update: The attempt by GERB to secure sufficient backing for Raya Nazaryan's election as Speaker of Parliament fell short, prompting Alexander Nenkov to request a second one-hour recess during the session.

During his address, the GERB deputy suggested that efforts to garner support were ongoing, expressing hope for a definitive outcome within the next hour.

Silvi Kirilov declared that nominations would be initiated in 25 minutes, emphasizing that procedural rules would not be reconsidered a second time.

Update: Once again, Delyan Peevski, co-chair of the DPS, emphasized the urgent need for a Euro-Atlantic government to be formed in Bulgaria. Peevski warned that failing to do so would effectively hand over Bulgaria to Putin.

He criticized other political factions for jeopardizing national sovereignty by withholding support for Raya Nazaryan's candidacy. Peevski urged all parties to snap out of their inertia, stressing the immediate necessity for the parliament to commence its operations.

Regarding allegations of pressure on Nikolay Markov, leader of "Greatness", to endorse Nazaryan, Peevski declined to comment directly. However, his parliamentary colleague, Darin Georgiev, had previously raised concerns about such interference.

Update: Boyko Borissov, leader of GERB, expressed frustration over Hristo Ivanov, former leader of "Yes, Bulgaria," accusing him of deserting for the second time. Borissov criticized Ivanov for initially collaborating closely, supporting constitutional amendments and other proposals, only to later retreat to Brussels, leaving Borissov to manage the aftermath alone. Borissov described Ivanov's actions as unfair and dishonorable.

In 2015, Ivanov resigned as Minister of Justice due to parliamentary resistance against his proposed reforms regarding political influence in judicial appointments. Recently, Ivanov cited the electoral underperformance of "We Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria" as his reason for stepping down.

Despite facing opposition to Raya Nazaryan's bid for Speaker of Parliament, Borissov reiterated GERB's unwavering support for her candidacy. He urged political factions to act responsibly, warning that failing to elect a president would trigger a constitutional crisis. Borissov noted the country's precarious position, unable to proceed with new elections formally due to the absence of a parliamentary Speaker.

Update: Boyko Borissov, leader of GERB, has been accused of pressuring Nikolay Markov, leader of the "Greatness" party. This allegation surfaced after Markov arrived late yesterday to take the oath during the initial session of the 50th National Assembly. Darin Georgiev, an MP from "Greatness," disclosed this information to "Nova TV."

Georgiev revealed that Borissov's efforts involved more than just seeking dialogue; they included exerting pressure. However, Georgiev suggested directing questions about Markov's late arrival and the nature of the pressure directly to Markov himself. According to Georgiev, Markov faced significant pressure during a meeting focused on how "Greatness" MPs should vote, particularly regarding the election of Raya Nazarian as Speaker of Parliament.

The statement from Georgiev did not specify whether Borissov personally applied the pressure or if it was intermediated through others. He emphasized that, at present, the pressure campaign primarily revolves around securing votes for Nazarian's candidacy.

Update: The second day of the inaugural plenary session commenced with a 30-minute recess at the request of the DPS party, delaying the election of the speaker. Rather than proceeding to a vote, Members of Parliament began the session with a debate on whether to reaffirm the rules governing the election of the Speaker of Parliament.

Silvi Kirilov, the senior-most parliamentarian presiding over the session, proposed scheduling a vote on this matter later in the day, citing legal consultations conducted earlier. However, Hamid Hamid from the DPS objected, arguing that a new vote on the election rules was unnecessary since they had already been approved the previous day.

Ultimately, Hamid requested a 30-minute break to further discuss the issue. It is anticipated that deliberations on the nominations for the Speaker of Parliament will commence at 10:35 am.

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Tags: Nazaryan, National Assembly, GERB, Speaker

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