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Political scientist Antoni Gerasimov for Radio Bulgaria:

The presence of people without political experience in parliament can have a beneficial effect on the system


The new MPs officially start working today, December 3. Among the 240 deputies in the 47th National Assembly, there are many new persons who have little or no parliamentary experience. Their professional biographies testify to their experience as lawyers, economists, IT specialists, cryptocurrency experts and others.. However, to what extent will the lack of routine in the governance processes in the country be in their favour or hinder them?

"Although not immediately, their presence in Bulgarian politics will have a beneficial effect on it," says political scientist Antoni Gerasimov. It is important that they make a realistic assessment of whether they will be able to cope with these new challenges:

"It will be difficult, because the clash with the political reality inside can be called a culture shock," Gerasimov is convinced. „It is one thing to watch the parliament in front of the screen, and quite another to be part of it. However, I believe that the teams behind these people will be able to prepare them. No serious politician expects that it is possible to do everything alone, so it is important what experts the politician will choose as his/her associates”.

The political scientist defines the appearance of new faces as a breath of fresh air and an impulse to change the current model and the popular perception among Bulgarians that "all politicians are fraudsters."

The new parliament will be composed of representatives of seven political forces. According to President Rumen Radev, there are two urgent tasks for the deputies - nominating a government on the basis of a stable parliamentary majority and adopting the country's budget for 2022. Antoni Gerasimov is convinced that a serious attempt will be made to form a government, but there are some reservations:

"I am far from thinking that a governance structure can be formed that will last 4 years. The alternative, if no government is formed, guarantees a deepening of the crises in which we find ourselves. Certainly, people will be even more demotivated to vote. This will be to the detriment of democracy. But on the other hand, the way the negotiations are being conducted at the moment can be an incentive for more serious support for the party that initiated them."

The desire to contribute to the return of public confidence in the institution of the National Assembly led Antoni Gerasimov to get involved in creating an Internet platform that helps citizens follow the behaviour in the Plenary Hall of their elected MPs and the party policies.

"Much of the distrust in the institutions stems not from their structure, but from the people who are part of them. This distrust is due, on the one hand, to the lack of sufficient publicly available information about the work of the National Assembly. Another factor of distrust is the inability of the media to present to the public everything that happens in the corridors of power."

To use the platform, citizens do not need to register. Part of it is a detailed summary of the work of the 7 national assemblies in Bulgaria in the period from 2001 to today. An archive of the transcripts of the sessions and votes on the individual bills is also clearly presented. And the work on its completion will continue with monitoring the activities of the 47th National Assembly.

English version Rositsa Petkova

Photos: EPA/BGNES, Facebook/ Antoni Gerasimov

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