By Clive Leviev – Sawyer of The Sofia Globe
Even as Bulgaria’s Parliament began debate on October 16 on the second motion of no confidence in the current government, which follows hard on the heels of the first, opposition GERB leader Boiko Borissov said that his party was ready with a third.
The vote in the National Assembly on the second motion of no confidence, tabled on the basis of what GERB describes as the Bulgarian Socialist Party government’s failures on regional policy, is scheduled for October 17. Borissov said that the third motion of no confidence would be tabled on October 18.
Responding to a statement by socialist MP Maya Manolova calling GERB a caricature of an opposition, Borissov said that the parties in power were caricatures, as every day Parliament became increasingly discredited.
Borissov said that his party was, indeed, a caricature of an opposition because it had won the election (in the May 2013 parliamentary elections, Borissov’s party won the most votes but had no allies in Parliament with which to form a coalition government).
Debate in the National Assembly on October 16 began after the now-customary struggle to achieve a quorum, which happened after members of ultra-nationalist party Ataka headed by Volen Siderov formally registered as present.
For the motion of no confidence to be carried, it would require the support of 121 out of Bulgaria’s 240 MPs. This is currently mathematically impossible because the BSP and Movement for Rights and Freedoms have 120 seats in the National Assembly and it is extremely improbable that Ataka, seen by polls as having no chance of returning to a new parliament in the event of elections now, would vote with the opposition.
At the opening of debate on October 16, senior GERB MP Liliana Pavlova said that there was no other government since 1991 in Bulgaria that had enjoyed much lower credibility among Bulgarian society. From its early days, the current government had been marked by protests and civil unrest, protests against a lack of transparency and a complete lack of morality among those taking part in and supporting the current government, Pavlova said.
During proceedings, when Plamen Oresharski – occupant of the prime minister’s seat in the BSP government – entered the House, there were loud chants from the opposition benches of “resign!”
Parties within the ruling axis hit back at the years of the GERB government, with BSP leader Sergei Stanishev said that when in power, the Borissov cabinet had worsened regional disparities, while MRF leader Lyutvi Mestan said that GERB had concentrated all the resources of the state on building highways and had stopped investing in small municipalities.
Ataka’s Siderov said that his party did not support the government but was a “corrective” to it, and said that GERB, the BSP and MRF were acting in concert.
The grounds for the second motion of no confidence was “not our topic”, Siderov said: “What is important to us is the question of neutrality on military action in Syria, an important issue is the moratorium on the sale of land to foreigners”.