Bulgarian MPs Scrap Bid to Delay NPP Referendum Debate

Business » ENERGY | October 24, 2012, Wednesday // 12:04
Bulgarian MPs Scrap Opposition Bid to Delay NPP Referendum Debate: Bulgarian MPs Scrap Bid to Delay NPP Referendum Debate BSP MP and former Interior Minister, Michail Mikov, proposed to postpone debates on the Belene NPP referendum, but it was rejected. Photo by BGNES

The Members of the Parliament rejected Wednesday the proposal of the opposition, left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, to postpone debates on the referendum on the Belene NPP.

BSP MP and former Interior Minister, Michail Mikov, stated that number 2 in the Wednesday parliamentary agenda must be removed on grounds there were two referendum requests – one from half million Bulgarians and the other from 76 MPs.

"There is a submitted proposal for making the decision to hold a referendum. This procedure would replace the will of half million Bulgarians and is illegal and violates the Constitution. The proposal comes from people who voted to halt the construction of the NPP anyway," Mikov stated.

Mikov's proposal was rejected.

The Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Anastas Anastasov from GERB, informed that the speaker-panel has reached a decision on the issue, but failed to announce any other details.

The government of the ruling center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, scrapped in March 2012 the project to build a second Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene, declaring it economically unfeasible. The pro-Belene BSP then launched a petition for a referendum on the Russian-Bulgarian project's fate.

The inspection of the petition recently concluded the 543 639 valid signatures are enough to make the vote irreversible.

MPs from the Legal Committee of the Bulgarian Parliament voted last Thursday the edited version of the question of the referendum.

Only GERB MPs had the final say on the question after three hours of heated debates. Those from the opposition BSP and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, left in sign of protest before the vote.

The original question of the petition was: "Should nuclear energy be developed in Bulgaria through the building of a Nuclear Plant at the Belene site?"

The edited question, which was the proposal of the GERB Chair of the Legal Committee, Iskra Fidosova, postulates: "Should atomic energy be developed in Bulgaria through the building of a new Atomic Plant?"

GERB MPs, backed by Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, insist the word Belene makes the referendum anti-constitutional in violating article 42, and dooms it to failure.

On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Energy Committee upheld GERB's version.

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Tags: former interior minister, Michail Mikov, postpone, debates, Belene NPP, Boyko Borisov, GERB, question, Belene, NPP, Referendum, Nuclear Power Plant, MPs, BSP, DPS, petition, Prime Minister
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