Bulgarian MPs No-Confidence Debate Marred by Bickering

Domestic | October 6, 2010, Wednesday // 16:52|  views

The debates of the no-confidence vote of the cabinet in the Bulgarian Parliament were marked by squabbling and mutual accusations. File photo

The Bulgarian Parliament debated for hours Wednesday the pointless issue of the no-confidence vote against the cabinet with bickering and mutual accusations of irresponsibility and populism.

The no-confidence vote was submitted by the two main opposition fractions – the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and freedoms (DPS) on the grounds of the collapse in the country's health care sector.

The debate was held in the absence of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and the Speaker of the Parliament, Tsetska Tsacheva. In just one of their many dramatic moves, the Socialists distributed to their Members of the Parliament a picture of the PM.

The right-wing Blue Coalition and the nationalist, far-right Ataka party have already stated they would not support the no-confidence vote, which means it is doomed to failure.

The BSP leader and former Prime Minister, Sergey Stanishev, voiced strong criticism towards Ataka, accusing them of giving the ruling, center-right Citizens of European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party unconditional support without even stating a position and ridiculed them for the fact their MPs were not even in plenary hall for the debates.

"GERB's intentions of closing hospitals, ruining the country's health care, the systematic conflict of interests of their representatives in the sector, the idea for hospital copay, and introducing market rules in a public system became symbolic for this rule," Stanishev stressed.

The GERB MP, Iskra Fidosova, countered the BSP leader's statement, saying it simply showed the health care grounds for the no-confidence vote are not a true cause for it, defining them as populist and cynical.

The BSP MP, Angel Naydenov asked Fidosova in response: "Ms. Fidosova, don't tell me GERB first replaced Health Minister, Bozhidar Nanev, because you did not like his moustache and then Anna-Maria Borisova over her hairdo; you dismissed them because they failed."

The Deputy Chair of DPS, Lyutvi Mestan, pointed out the previous Coalition cabinet, of which both his party and the Socialists were members, is not avoiding their responsibility, but the no-confidence vote aims at the current rule.

Even though the right-wing already said they would not support the opposition in the no-confidence vote, Martin Dimitrov, leader of one the two parties forming the Blue Coalition – the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) criticized GERB for "giving more money as their first reaction to any discontent without having any clear reform plans.

On this occasion, Stanishev told the MPs the following joke: "Animals in the forest were arguing who is pretty and who is smart. The Lion told them to form two lines – the pretty ones on the right and the smart ones on the left. The frog stood in the middle not knowing what to do," the Socialist leader said, adding the Blue Coalition is like the frog – always voting in favor of the cabinet, but never failing short of offering critics.

The debates are now closed and the vote is expected to be held Friday.

At the very end Borisov and Tsatcheva appeared in plenary hall, but Borisov declined the opportunity to make comments.

Upon exiting the Parliament, the Prime Minister gave autographs on his pictures distributed by the Socialists. When asked by a reporter why he missed the debates, Borisov replied abruptly: "I have work to do. I am not a loafer like them."

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Tags: Iskra Fidosva, Martin Dimitrov, UDF, Blue Coalition, Ataka, Lyutvi Mestan, health minister, Stefan Konstantinov, Anna-Maria Borisova, Boyko Borisov, health care sector, health care reform, Prime Minister, DPS, BSP, Sergey Stanishev, no-confidence vote, GERB, MP


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