Lack of Quorum Postpones Bulgarian MPs Vote on Fiscal PactFinance | July 28, 2011, Thursday // 17:24| views
Only 106 MPs out of 240 were in attendance for a vote to amend Bulgaria's Constitution, which led to its postponement. File photo
The Bulgarian Parliament postponed Thursday the vote on constitutional amendments, proposed by Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, which will pave the way for the introduction of the so-called Financial Stability Pact.
The postponement came after the Members of the Parliament realized they did not have quorum for the vote.
Upon submitting the draft constitutional amendments to the Parliament at the end of May, Minister Djankov said he hoped the Pact could be adopted by the fall of 2011.
The three main pillars of Djankov's Financial Stability Pact to be solidified via constitutional amendments are introducing a limit to allowed budget deficit, restricting the ability of the state to redistribute public funds as a percentage of the GDP, and introducing a qualified majority vote of two-thirds of the votes in Parliament to change Bulgaria's direct taxes.
The plan envisages capping the budget deficit at 2% of GDP product and spending at 40% of GDP.
Since the beginning of the debates the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, and the right-wing Blue Coalition criticized the scheduling of the vote on such crucial amendments one day before the start of the MPs summer break and at the end of the parliamentary work day.
In order to make amendments in the Constitution, there must be at least 160 votes for, but after a roll call it became evident only 106 MPs were in attendance.
The amendments would, most likely, be voted during the next plenary session dedicated to legislative activities, the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Anastas Anastasov, explained for the media.
Djankov's Financial Stability Pact is expected to enter into force as of January 1, 2013, several months before the expiration of the four-year term of the Borisov Cabinet and before the regular parliamentary elections provided that the government serves its full term. This means that the Pact, if approved, will be in force for those ruling Bulgaria after the present Cabinet of Boyko Borisov.
Djankov believes that the proposed measures will "cement" Bulgaria as having one of the strictest fiscal policies in the European Union, and will be supported by both the rightist and the center-leftist opposition.
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