Bulgaria's GERB Introduces No-Confidence Motion

Domestic | May 16, 2014, Friday // 09:50|  views

Posing in front of journalists, leaders of GERB and the parties forging the Reformist Bloc, right to left: ex-Prime Minister and GERB chair Boyko Borisov, DSB's Radan Kunev, SDS's Bozhidar Lukarski, and DBG's Meglena Kuneva. Photo by BGNES

The opposition party GERB submitted a no-confidence vote on Friday over the socialist-led government's energy policy.

Friday's motion is the fourth one by former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's GERB since the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) came into power in May 2013.

GERB's move earlier received support from the non-parliamentary Reformist Bloc, with whose official spokesman, Radan Kanev, Borisov met on May 14. Kanev reminded that his party had obtained data alleging the BSP's subordination to Russian energy giant Gazprom on issues regarding the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline.

The meeting of the two men came despite their refusal to officially join hands as Bulgaria's right opposition.

Initially Borisov had planned to introduce it last week, but later explained a delay was needed so that his party could receive copies of official documents on the financial situation at the state-owned National Electricity Company (NEK) and could enclose them as evidence.

Maya Manolova, a Deputy Parliament Speaker, has described embarking on such a procedure during election campaign as an act of "disrespect" for voters. She urged GERB to wait before introducing it into Parliament.

As the opposition did not heed her call, lawmakers will have to convene for an extraordinary session, even though plenary meetings have been cancelled until May 25's European elections.

Under Bulgarian law a parliamentary sitting is to be scheduled in a week once a motion is handed to the legislative body.

Energy is a sector sparking huge controversy in Bulgaria over the past months, as NEK is believed to be in a state of technical default with debts still going up, but also as national regulator DKEVR and the electricity distribution companies (EDCs) are involved in a bitter dispute which at a certain point was on the verge of ending with power distributor's licenses suspended.

On Wednesday, DKEVR announced that the three foreign-based EDCs, CEZ, EVN and Energo-Pro had committed nearly 2700 violations in Bulgaria and were facing a minimal fine of BGN 50 M.

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Tags: no-confidence motion, vote, european elections, Maya Manolova, Boyko Borisov, Radan Kanev, Reformist Bloc, BSP, GERB, energy, parliament, NEK, DKEVR, EDCs


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