Long-Mulled No Confidence Vote Enters Bulgarian Parliament
Bulgaria's Socialist Party, BSP, and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, submitted in the Parliament Friday the long-mulled no confidence vote against the cabinet.
The grounds for the vote are listed as "failure in anti-crisis policies." The debates on it are expected to be held next Thursday while, under the Parliamentary code, the voting must be scheduled 24 hours later.
The vote will pass with 121 Members of the Parliament being "for." Together, BSP and DPS have 75 MPs. The ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party has majority with the vote of several independent MPs. The co-Chair of the right-wing Blue Coalition, Ivan Kostov, already said they would not support a no confidence vote on the above said grounds. After threats they will withdraw their support for GERB, the far-right, nationalist Ataka, with 17 MPs, informed Friday they will give those in power one last chance.
This is the second no confidence vote requested by the opposition. The first one was over the health care policy and failed due to GERB and Ataka MPs.
"The goal here is not to replace certain ministers, but to replace a failed anti-crisis program. The vote comes on the backgdrop of a number of European countries registering economic growth. We also have fresh motives such as the delay in Bulgaria's Schengen entry. Bulgaria was scheduled to become member of Schengen in March, 2011. Six countries are blocking this process over their lack of trust in the cabinet's ability to fight corruption," Socialist leader and former Prime Minister, Sergey Stanishev, is quoted saying.
The Deputy Chair of the DPS Parliamentary group, Lyutvi Mestan, pointed out the cabinet can no longer find excuses in the global economic crisis, and should admit responsibility for the continuous worsening of the economic situation in the country. He reminded that if this vote fails, the opposition will submit a new one, on the grounds of the entire policy of the cabinet. Mestan said the only way out would be snap general elections – the so-called "3 in 1," to be held in the fall together with the local and presidential ones.
The Deputy Chair of the GERB Parliamentary group, Valentin Nikolov, commented that the opposition actually wishes to lose the no confidence vote since the goal is not to topple the cabinet, but to mobilize the electorate.
"DPS and BSP want to use the free media tribune to discuss the vote and send messages to supporters and followers. But they picked the wrong grounds – we can talk a lot about our successes and the road we took, all positively assessed by rating agencies and our European partners," Nikolov said pointing as examples economic growth in the last quarter of 2010 being one of the largest compared to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP – 3%-4%.
The GERB MP explained Bulgaria entered the crisis late and would leave late, but it will make the country more stable in hardships to come.
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