Bulgarian PM Declares Total Disregard of 3rd No Confidence Vote

Domestic | July 15, 2011, Friday // 09:30|  views

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov will face his 3rd no confidence vote in two years. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov does not intend to defend his government's policies in Parliament during the upcoming no confidence vote, which will be the third for his Cabinet since it took over in 2009.

Speaking on Bulgaria's national TV Friday, the PM said he will not even show up in Parliament for the no confidence debate simple because "there is no responsible political class of politicians."

The opposition led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the centrist ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) has initiated a no confidence vote over "the failure in internal and home affairs" of the Interior Ministry and the failure to join the Schengen Area, originally planned for March 2011. The rightist Blue Coalition, which used to back the Borisov Cabinet, has declared it will support a no confidence vote over what it regards as failures of Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

The no confidence motion will be submitted by the opposition on Monday.

"I am not even going to defend the government the way the questions for the third no confidence are posed. The opposition first needs to explain why they hadn't absorbed the money from the Schengen Facility, and we absorbed 100%. Bulgaria has met 100% of the Schengen criteria," the PM declared Friday morning.

He did make it clear he does not see any point in being present in Parliament for the no confidence debates. In his words, he respects the National Assembly but when the opposition MPs actually have a point and demonstrated sincerity and responsibility.

"The opposition wants to cause a political crisis now that the economy is going up, now that we have done so many things, and have increased many times the absorption of EU funds. Bulgaria is about to become a different country. They want all of that gone. I see no need to go to Parliament and listen to them. I am going to get some job done. I am not going there because there is no responsible political class," Borisov declared.

He said that even though the BSP, DPS, and the Blue Coalition want to topple the GERB government, he hoped that his already former informal ally, the leader of the nationalist party Ataka Volen Siderov will stay aside. Siderov's Ataka was backing Borisov since he took over in 2009 but it just withdrew its support from him several days ago over a number of disagreements.

With the support of Ataka's 16 MPs (down from 21 originally as 5 have become independents) now gone, the Borisov Cabinet is relying solely on its own party GERB's 117 MPs and 10 "independents", i.e. MPs who have broken off from Ataka and the marginal conservative party RZS to survive in the 240-seat Parliament.

The shift in the relations between Borisov and Siderov has already been visible as in June the Cabinet survived a no confidence vote on economic crisis policies initiated by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) with the votes of the 117 GERB MPs and 9 independents (former members of the conservative party RZS and the nationalist Ataka), while its traditional earlier allies, Ataka with 17 MPs and the Blue Coalition MPs, did not take part at all in the voting. (The no confidence motion was overturned with 124 MPs against, 70 in favor, and 2 abstaining.)

The newly acquired significance of the 10 renegade MPs as being crucial for the survival of the Borisov Cabinet has become tangible after on Thursday US Ambassador James Warlick in Sofia had a meeting with them. The USA has traditionally provided Borisov with strong support.  

"I hope that Volen Siderov will not descend to their level in spite of all his weaknesses. I rely on everything that we have created. I am convinced that he will not stand in line with this new coalition of BSP, DPS, and the Blue Coalition," Borisov stated Friday.

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Tags: no confidence vote, BSP, DPS, GERB, Bulgarian Socialist Party, ethnic Turkish, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Blue Coalition, Boyko Borisov, Ataka, Volen Siderov, independent MPs, Schengen Area, Schengen Accession, Schengen Agreement, home affairs, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, interior ministry, parliament


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