Political and institutional confrontation heralds a tense end of 2017

Photo: BGNES

During the outgoing week the parliament in Sofia voted against the resignation submitted by the MP from the ruling party Gerb Delian Dobrev. He decided to step down after he had faced accusations from the left-wing opposition of irregularities at the Municipality of Haskovo. Dobrev had coordinated his resignation with Prime Minister and Gerb leader Boyko Borissov and the refusal of MPs to accept the resignation was interpreted as a sign of frictions between the parliamentary Gerb and its leader.

Earlier this week an interim parliamentary commission decided to return for voting the project for the purchase of new fighter jets on grounds that it had been compromised including by President Ruman Radev in his former capacity of commander of the Bulgarian Air Force. PM Borissov tried to play down the conflict of the MPs from the ruling Gerb with the president, but Rumen Radev rejected the “ceasefire” offer saying that Gerb was waging an institutional and media war on the Presidency. He added that there could be no accord to benefit the corruption comfort of the party in power and that he intended to follow the principle of fighting fire with fire.

Some observers speculate that political debates have grown bitter of late as a result of certain tensions inside the oppositional Bulgarian Socialist Party. They explain that after party leader Kornelia Ninova replaced most of the party leadership, she has now been trying to consolidate her new circle of close associates by hardening her tone of voice to the ruling coalition.

Others speculate that both with the ruling party and the opposition there is a trend of tightening party ranks with a view to the upcoming local elections. Gerb’s parliamentary leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov already identified such a need though these elections are due two years from now.

Time will tell which hypotheses are the right ones and to what extent. It has already become obvious however that the months by the end of the year will be tense and hot where political affairs in Bulgaria are concerned.

English Daniela Konstantinova

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