LIVE: Bulgarian Parliament Votes on GERB's Proposed Cabinet (UPDATED)

Politics | July 3, 2024, Wednesday // 13:20|  views

The National Assembly is currently discussing and voting on the proposed cabinet by GERB, led by Prime Minister candidate Rosen Zhelyazkov. According to the Constitution, laws and other acts must be adopted with a majority of more than half of the present representatives. With 240 deputies registered, 121 "yes" votes are required to elect the prime minister proposed by GERB. Following this, the structure and composition of the cabinet will be voted on.

Update: GERB failed - The Bulgarian Parliament rejected Rosen Zhelyazkov as prime minister

What happened today:

Zhelyazkov outlined the proposed government's primary task as restoring effective governance to address three main deficits: trust and legitimacy, goal setting and achievement, and law enforcement. He emphasized the frequent elections in Bulgaria over the past three years, with society growing apathetic and distrustful, resulting in a lack of voter interest and participation limited to dedicated party supporters.

Zhelyazkov acknowledged the challenges of unification and proposed forming a government with a clear political mandate. He presented a structure and composition without a guaranteed majority, suggesting a minority government focused on making up for lost time. The goals include modernization, digitization, increasing labor productivity, reducing administrative and corruption burdens, and aligning education with the labor market.

In a session of the parliament, Nikolai Denkov of WCC-DB declared their intention to vote "against" the proposed cabinet, labeling it a "government of the past with no future."

Denkov criticized the inclusion of ministers from previous administrations, referencing past controversies and public protests. He emphasized the need for a forward-looking government amidst the current political landscape where his party sees itself as a strong, pro-European opposition.

During Denkov's speech, Boyko Borissov, leader of GERB, briefly exited the assembly hall, dismissing Denkov's remarks upon his return. Borissov acknowledged past alliances but firmly distanced himself from any associations with DPS, asserting the need for conscious support from other deputies to ensure responsibility.

Turning to DPS members, Borissov expressed gratitude for their support while declaring GERB's stance against endorsing a second or third term, questioning the dominance of smaller parties in the current political climate.

Kiril Petkov, co-chairman of "We Continue the Change," responded to Borissov's remarks, suggesting a need for constructive dialogue acknowledging past governmental shortcomings and unmet reform promises.

Meanwhile, Yordan Tsonev, deputy chairman of DPS parliamentary group, announced their support for the mandate winner, emphasizing the critical need for political stability and regular governance amid dwindling public trust in political parties.

On the other hand, "Revival" party leader Kostadin Kostadinov declared their non-support for the "Zhelyazkov" cabinet, criticizing GERB's potential collaboration with DPS. Kostadinov accused DPS of jeopardizing national security and predicted backlash from GERB voters for such an alliance.

"There Is Such a People" also confirmed its position that it will vote "against". "We are convinced that getting out of the crisis in which the state is obviously in can only be done with an expert cabinet with a clear program and it has broad parliamentary support and cannot be dominated by any party. So, if the president handed over the third mandate to us, we will send an invitation to all parties for talks on a specific program and an expert cabinet", said the chairman of the parliamentary group of "There Is Such a People" Toshko Yordanov.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) will not support the draft cabinet, said the chairman of the parliamentary group Borislav Gutsanov. The Socialists would support an expert government. "We approach GERB with respect for trying to form a cabinet. We cannot support this cabinet. You do not realize that you have created chasms in society. There must be a cabinet, but of experts, of the national consensus," he pointed out.

Krasimira Katincharova from "Greatness" called on the leaders of the other parties to repent "for everything you have created". "You are about to vote or reject a government, but I have a question for all of you who have created or overthrown governments with no idea how to improve education. You have not shown an ounce of repentance for everything you have created. You are slowly selling Bulgaria, so that you can redeem yourself," said Katincharova.

***

On July 1, Rosen Zhelyazkov, nominated for prime minister by GERB, received and immediately returned the exploratory mandate to form a government given by President Radev. Later that day, the president issued a decree proposing that the 50th National Assembly elect Rosen Zhelyazkov as prime minister.

The proposed "Zhelyazkov" cabinet includes one deputy prime minister and 19 ministers. Seven of these ministers are currently serving in the office of Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev.

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Tags: Zhelyazkov, GERB, Cabinet, government

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