Bulgarian Parliament Fails to Defeat President's Competition Act Veto

Business | July 11, 2014, Friday // 10:46
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Parliament Fails to Defeat President's Competition Act Veto Ruling parties BSP and DPS could not gather the 121-strong support to overcome the motion, days after far-right Ataka vowed to boycott plenary sessions. Photo by BGNES

Lawmakers upheld a veto on amendments to the Competition Protection Act imposed by Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev.

Friday's vote was the first time the current Parliament did not reject a presidential veto, with a total of nine motions (including the successful one) having been issued in just over a year.

Majority was secured by MPs from center-right opposition GERB, with government partners from BSP and DPS defending legislative changes.

The proposed amendments, planned to affect retail chains, were purportedly aimed at eradicating dishonest commercial practices.

The term "stronger negotiating position" was to be introduced, and a chain could be facing a fine of up to 10 percent of its turnover if an abuse was found out.

It was also envisaged that retailers with a turnover of more than BGN 50 M (EUR 25 M) yearly be forced to sign uniform contracts with their suppliers.

Plevneliev, however, argued in his motives to veto the bill that they could only push prices up.

He also believes the impact of amendments on consumers had not been taken into consideration, a point of view retailers (and the World Bank as well) have shared.

An absolute majority of MPs, or 121 out of 240, is needed to overcome a presidential veto, a number which the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) failed to match on Friday.

Far-right Ataka did not attend the session as its leader Volen Siderov vowed earlier in July to boycott work in Parliament until it dissolves on August 6, two months before early elections.

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Tags: boycott, stronger negotiating position, suppliers, retailers, retail chains, Competition Protection Act, Ataka, GERB, DPS, BSP, presidential veto, veto, Rosen Plevneliev, parliament, Volen Siderov

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