Bulgaria's Ruling GERB Aborts Key Election Code Vote
Bulgaria's ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, is halting all debates on the embattled Election Code and will resume them only after an apology from the opposition.
The GERB Member of the Parliament and Chair of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Iskra Fidosova, made the announcement Friday.
"There is an Election Code that has received only praise and high marks. It is the law currently effective in Bulgaria, and anyone who wants to change it, must come under the condition of constructive dialogue, not with arm twisting, lies, ultimatums. Then they will be welcomed. They endlessly commented on any proposal, claiming GERB wants to manipulate and falsify the election. None of the debated texts is authored by us. These are all proposals of the opposition," said Fidosova in outrage.
The Chairman of the GERB parliamentary group, Krasimir Velchev, announced that the schedule of the Parliament next week, which is the last one before the holiday break, will not include debates on amendments to the Election Code.
Earlier Friday, the Speaker of the Parliament, Tsetska Tsacheva, dismissed all present MPs due to lack of quorum. The move happened after 3 consecutive checks.
The MPs were supposed to continue Friday morning with debates on the controversial amendments to the Election Code, which stirred a number of clashes in the last two days between GERB and the opposition. The latter accuse GERB of forcing changes to secure their victory at the 2013 general election.
From a total of 240 MPs, only 109 were in plenary hall Friday morning, 98 from GERB and 11 Independent MPs.
MPs from the opposition, right-wing Blue Coalition, the opposition, left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, and the opposition ethnic Turkish party, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, were all a no-show.
Except GERB, all other parliamentary groups demand open and clear consultations and threaten to otherwise ask President, Rosen Plevneliev, to veto the Election Code and to alert all EU institutions.
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