Breaking News: Bulgaria's PM Borissov Calls for Convening Grand National Assembly and Changes to the Constitution, Plans to Resign AfterwardsPolitics | August 14, 2020, Friday // 13:09| views
GERB proposes a new structure of the judiciary and a reduction in the number of deputies
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov proposes convening a Grand National Assembly and amending the Constitution. This is stated in his official statement.
Here is the full wording of the statement:
I appeal to all Bulgarian citizens.
I promised to come up with my decisions - it's time to announce them!
At this point, this government that people have elected has fulfilled its commitments: it has guaranteed economic growth, sound finances, a record low external debt, improved infrastructure on an unprecedented scale, launched the major energy projects that many claimed were impossible.
This government continues to lead the country through the pandemic with minimal damage, we have mobilized billions in support of health and social systems, people and the business.
Cigarette smuggling levels have dropped tenfold over nine years. Thus, Bulgaria is currently the European country with the lowest levels of tobacco smuggling. Hundreds of millions is the corresponding effect for Bulgaria from the monitoring of alcohol and fuels in refineries.
This government has contracted nearly BGN 60 billion to be invested in our country in the coming years.
This government has convinced our European partners to accept us in the innermost circle of European integration - the Eurozone and the Banking Union!
During the years of GERB's rule, with me as Prime Minister, we have increased income and GDP more than two and a half times.
This turned out to be insufficient.
Following years of attacks by unsystematic and failed political players, blasphemy and fake news, trust in institutions has eroded. The natural revolt of the young people ensued.
Oligarchs, united because of affected economic interests, failed figures, unsuccessful in their attempts to catalyze their political and financial ambitions, unfulfilled politicians, who have long ago lost public support, tried to take over this revolt of the young. They tried to blow up order in the country.
With a paradoxical hate speech, these people pulled out their protest. From the very beginning, they began to introduce certain individuals and interests among the protesters, who replaced the ideas of the young with the ideas of the oligarchy and the underworld.
Daily escalation of huge political tension followed. Such a symbiosis is extremely dangerous for democracy. Gallows and coffins appeared at the traffic lights on the yellow cobblestones and the columns of Eagles’ Bridge, and the buildings, a symbol of statehood, were desecrated. Red paint coloured the parliament building and the centre of European Sofia!
When the masks fell at one point, the mothers of disadvantaged children were brought on stage. The second act of the big scenario of the oligarchy was carried out by politicians of all colours from the opposition, who had been seeking and unselfishly receiving my support over the years. Because of their unscrupulous political ambitions, they either gave up on their own or were made to give up. That is exactly what they failed to overcome. They united. Like a spy team, they walked around my house and spread black trash bags where my daughter and grandchildren lived. Following that fiasco, they organized barricades. Public property was demolished, chains were stretched, gallows were erected, containers, benches and pots were dragged. They tried to suggest that there was no state.
At the same time, the opposition in parliament is not recognized as an alternative because it is weak, helpless and incapable of producing legislative decisions that are corrective to governance.
The President has abandoned his primary role as a unifier of the nation. In his desire to be a political leader, he deliberately fuelled tension among institutions, to the point of making Bulgarian citizens stand against Bulgarian citizens. He divided society, waved his fist, and set fire to the destructive power of opposition.
Thus he became and established himself as a figure and servant of the oligarchy.
WHO BENEFITS FROM THIS WHEN WE ALL LOSE?
And so the authentic voice for change has been crushed. Started as a civil action of like-minded people, it has become a dictate over all citizens. But that didn't work either.
The scenario for a complete blockade of the state turned out to be impossible, because the destructive revolutionary revanchism is not natural to Bulgarians.
Because the desire for the rule of law, for legality, for new persons cannot be achieved with a gross violation of law and law. The Bulgarians felt that.
The closure of roads, stations, subway and attempts at bloody upheaval resulted in an explosion of discontent.
The protest did not produce its authentic leaders. For more than a month, the protesters have not specified their demands beyond resignations.
These educated young people participating in the protest do not demonstrate what they will do next. And most importantly - how will they achieve it and with whom?
It is not enough just to destroy the old world. One needs to know what will be built in its place. Do they know, for example, how they will participate in early elections? What is their political representation? What will be their programme? What do they offer?
The slogan "Everyone out" is destructive and deeply wrong. The old swindlers used them with their actions. The youth revolt has been overtaken.
No new person from the protest gained publicity, stood out as a speaker, as a leader, as a new figure who could be an alternative.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the protesting children did not understand the games behind the scenes!
And yet - everything is in the hands of young people. I respect their rebellion. They still have a chance to create a new, legitimate, democratic movement and a new generation of political leaders with a democratic view of Bulgaria. It is time for young people to actualize their historical mission and the difficult path that I will propose that we take together.
The deep desire for change in Bulgaria is already burning and is already beyond the control of systemic political parties. It is necessary to give birth to a new generation of Bulgarian leaders for the future and a new basic law of the state.
Otherwise, this protest will remain only with the inspiring energy of the protests of 1989, 1997, 2013, and in time will follow their fate.
For me and my party, participation in the government has always been not a goal but an opportunity to work in order to achieve results. That is why for more than 10 years people have voted for us. I have been reprimanded more than once for my excessive civic sensitivity. In the name of democracy, I have twice withdrawn when I sensed the attempts to divide society. And yet, people brought me back in.
And today I will not be the one who, instead of preserving democratic peace and building on it, will allow Bulgarians to fight against Bulgarians in the blockades. I will not be the one who tolerates the shaking of fists both at the blockades and at the presidency.
IT'S TIME TO RESTART - IT'S TIME FOR SOLUTIONS
Pursuant to Article 87, paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria and Article 76, paragraph 1 of the Rules of Organization and Procedure of the National Assembly, GERB will submit a draft of a new Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria.
It is time for responsibility and determination! It is time not only to change the political system, but to restart the state. The need to restart the political model can no longer be postponed! The unity, statehood and stability of the country are not just words for me - they are the basis I have stepped on for each of my decisions.
The need for a new Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria is a subject that in recent years has been a leading one for many citizens and public organizations. In order to meet the attitudes and expectations of Bulgarian citizens, we propose a draft Constitution to protect the basic principles and principles of our time. The current Constitution was adopted in another historical period, under different political circumstances, in another international status of our country, at another level of legislative practice, and time has shown that without changing the basic law, we cannot meet challenges.
The Basic Law should be drafted in line with European rules. According to the current Constitution, a new one can be adopted only by the Grand National Assembly.
Therefore, I propose the convening of a Grand National Assembly to introduce a number of significant changes to the Constitution:
• We will propose reducing the number of MPs from 240 to 120;
• At the Grand National Assembly the number of MPs to be reduced - from 400 to 280;
• We will terminate the Supreme Judicial Council and propose the establishment of a Judicial Council of Judges and a Judicial Council of Prosecutors. The two councils will deal separately with personnel issues related to judges, on the one hand, and prosecutors and investigators, on the other.
In accordance with the recommendations of the European Commission for Democracy through Law - the so-called Venice Commission, which is an advisory body to the Council of Europe, the members of the Judicial Council of Judges will be elected by the professional community, ie by the judges themselves and six by the National Assembly elected by a two-thirds majority of the members of parliament, whereas the members by right will be the chairmen of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court.
• The mandate of the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Prosecutor General is proposed to be five years;
• We will propose to limit the powers of the Minister of Justice only to proposing draft budgets to the relevant bodies and to manage the real estate of the judiciary;
• We will propose to the councils of judges and prosecutors to create separate inspectorates, ie not to have only one inspectorate, as it currently is. Each of the two inspectorates consists of a chief inspector and five inspectors;
• We will propose introducing the institute of individual constitutional complaint;
• We will propose that the Prosecutor General be heard by the National Assembly every six months and that his report be adopted. The report covers the application of the law on the activities of the prosecution and investigative bodies;
• The National Assembly may hear the Prosecutor General on issues related to specific criminal proceedings, with the permission of the supervising prosecutor;
These are issues that people have wanted and expected for years. These proposals will increase the role and confidence in political representation, and will make anonymous MPs disappear. It will strengthen the independence of the judiciary, turn prosecutors and judges into self-governing communities, and perhaps most importantly, strengthen control over the activities of the Prosecutor General.
At the moment when the National Assembly decides to hold elections for the Grand National Assembly according to Art. 160 of the Constitution, I will resign as Prime Minister on that same day.
The Grand National Assembly is a unique opportunity - not only to restart our democracy, but also for this to happen in a regime of maximum political representation. We will insist that out of all 400 MPs in it, 200 be elected pro rate and the remaining 200 be elected by a majority.
The time has come for each of us to define ourselves by making our own political and historical choices. Only in this way will it be possible to start clean. At a time of the worst socio-economic crisis, a time of pandemic, a time worse than the Great Depression, when world economies are collapsing, the country must step out united.
Unity makes strength!
This is what our country needs the most today!
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