What the Opening day of 44th Parliament shows

Photo: BGNES

The first sitting of the 44th parliament on April 19 was unusually short, unsurprising in its nature and some people said it was lifeless. Printed media also cover in few words today this otherwise very important event. Even the fact that President Rumen Radev didn’t use the opportunity of the traditional unveiling speech remained almost unnoticed. No one was impressed by the fact that the only party leader who refrained from talking before parliament was the one of the leading GERB party – Boyko Borissov. However, putting all this aside, we have to say that the initial sitting of the new parliament prompted some important facts.

Despite their numerous differences all the parliamentary represented forces accentuated that the new authority stepped into office within a very complicated international situation, underlining the necessity of joint work for the forthcoming presidency of the Council of the EU over the first 6 months of 2018. Common views were also outlined on home policy issues, such as the increasing of pensions and the necessity of changes in the systems of healthcare and education.

The poll winner GERB states firmly that this time it aims at a full 4-year-long term. Its Deputy Chair Tsvetan Tsvetanov also stated that the new rule would not allow radical forms of nationalism. GERB and their future coalitional partner – the United Patriots (UP) reconfirmed what had been contracted between them before, but in a somehow schematic manner, which is a sign of topics still undefined between them. Co-Chair of UP Valeri Simeonov outlined as a priority refugees’ staying out of the country and the immediate expulsion of the illegal ones, while the speech of Tsvetanov avoided the subject. Simeonov reconfirmed the stance of the ‘patriots’ against the introduction of the majority election system and this comes to show that there is a total discrepancy on the subject with their future coalitional partner GERB.

Leader of the leftist Bulgarian Socialist Party for Bulgaria coalition Kornelia Ninova said that the socialists would be opposition and an alternative to GERB, but at the same time she stated her future support for the successful Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union next year. Thus Ninova indirectly prompted that by mid-2018 the socialists would not work for another government.

Leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms Mustafa Karadayi called on Bulgaria to leave behind the burden of its political heritage of separation and hatred, aiming at the creation of a majority of shared values. Thus he prompted that the movement was ready to cooperate with the new authority. At the same time Karadayi stated firmly that his party was against the intentions of GERB to change the election legislation, introducing the majority election system.

Leader of the smallest parliamentary force – Volia, Veselin Mareshki wished more effectiveness to the new rule on all the previous ones, thus prompting his support.

This all comes to testify that at least over the next year and a half Bulgaria will have a center-right government, relying on floating support at parliament. The frames and price of this support will become clearer after the validation of the coalitional government by the parliament. The president will hand over the mandate for the forming of the cabinet next week to GERB leader Boyko Borissov.

English version: Zhivko Stanchev 

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