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The new Bulgarian National Assembly and its priorities

The political forces set out their positions in plenary

Photo: BGNES

Chaired by the most senior Member of Parliament Dr. Silvi Kirilov, the MPs from the new 47th National Assembly of Bulgaria took an oath in all of their actions to be guided by the interests of the people of Bulgaria. President Rumen Radev made an address to the MPs and to the nation.

Bulgaria cannot afford to waste any political time

The hopes pinned on the new parliament are immense, the stakes are momentous – it is time for a national consensus, the Bulgarian head of state emphasized in his address.

“Our society is still searching for the way out of the status quo of corruption but it has already said “no” to the captured state, and to the restoration of authoritarianism,” the President added.

Rumen Radev

“We can no longer afford to waste any political time, nor can we continue to live under populism and lies. Our society is, at long last, expecting to see the electoral registers updated before the voters have outnumbered the population. The essential national consensus is the consensus of rule of law and justice. If we want this parliament to last and to do its job, it needs to get public life back on the track of the law,” Rumen Radev said. He urged the MPs to undertake the long-delayed reforms and legislative changes. The President called for the protective umbrella spread over corruption and abuse by the prosecutor’s office to be taken down. He called for a high sense of responsibility during the endorsement of the new budget for 2022, and urged the MPs to discuss the draft budget proposed by the caretaker cabinet. The election for the 47th National Assembly could mark the end of the transition but that is up to the members of parliament and their work, Rumen Radev concluded.

We Continue the Change criticize the work of past politicians and MPs

Kiril Petkov addressed the MPs, and the Bulgarian citizens living inside Bulgaria and outside the country, on behalf of the top political force in parliament – We Continue the Change. In Kiril Petkov’s words the members of the previous parliaments have not done their job and the country faces a multitude of challenges, while two million Bulgarians have chosen to leave it:

Kiril Petkov

“In every town square where we met supporters of ours they said to us: “Please bring back the young!” And this coming from seniors with tears in their eyes – 42% of them live below the poverty line. And more than 40% of their grandchildren, who have remained here, in Bulgaria, couldn’t pass their 4th grade mathematics and Bulgarian language tests,” Kiril Petkov, We Continue the Change nomination for future prime minister said. He called for an end to greed, selfishness and negligence in this country, and urged each and every MP to be part of the change.  “It is time for genuine justice in Bulgaria, where no one shall feel they are above the law,” Kiril Petkov said further, and ended his address with the words: “It is time for innovation, investments, competitiveness. It is time we lent new meaning to the words “Member of Parliament” and did our job.”

In the past 6 months Bulgaria wasted too much political time

Desislava Atanasova

On behalf of GERB-SDS Desislava Atanasova lkaid emphasis on the fact that during the year, two consecutive parliaments had failed in their attempt to form a government. That is why the voters punished the new parliament with a low voter turnout. And because of this low turnout the new parliament does not have a sufficient level of legitimacy. Desislava Atanasova called for humility and a high sense of responsibility in regard to the complex situation in the country, so that a way out of the crisis can be found and a working parliament and regular government can be formed. She added that no energy must be wasted in personal attacks, insults or in seeking revenge for revenge’s sake, and called for the state budget to be discussed and approved by the end of 2021.

“Our first draft decision will be for a moratorium to be imposed on taking out a new government debt until a regular government is endorsed,” Desislava Atanasova said.

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms lambasted the past election over election violations and repressions

On behalf of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, the party’s leader Mustafa Karadayi stated that we shall remember the year as a circle of crises and elections.  The new parliament must break the string of snap elections and start to resolve the crises.

Mustafa Karadayi

“The people who did not go to the polls demonstrated that they do not want to vote for politicians and parties who, instead of solving problems, only look after their own. Those who did go to the polls gave their vote to the parties so as to put an end to the political crisis and to rally around solutions to their problems that will work. But they did not hand power to any one of the parties. What voters did was to obligate the MPs to seek national accord, in other words – for dialogue to be restored.”

Mustafa Karadayi challenged the legitimacy of the elections, which took place by machine vote and which were organized by the caretaker cabinet. He accused Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov and the police of harassment and repressions during the elections.

Bulgaria is losing the battle against the pandemic because of the irresponsible attitude the executive branch has been demonstrating these past few years, Movement for Rights and Freedoms leader Mustafa Karadayi said and called for a consensus for resolving the health crisis.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party-for Bulgaria, BSP, promised to assume the role of guarantor of stability in Bulgaria.

“We from the BSP are entering this parliament with three priorities,” BSP leader Korneliya Ninova said from the parliamentary rostrum:

Korneliya Ninova

“First – to begin a genuine change of the hitherto existing model of governance, to restore the principles of statehood and the constitutional principles of the separation of powers. Second – to guide the country and the Bulgarian people through the crises, with a focus on people. Third – an active pro-European foreign policy of equitable partnership with the other members of the European Union. For adopting Bulgaria’s Recovery and Resilience Plan at accelerated rates, and for advancing the operational programmes,” Korneliya Ninova said.

The BSP is ready with a programme of action for the first 100 days, and calls for the swift endorsement of a budget that sets down concrete figures.

There Is Such a People called for concord, decency and hard work

We need a revival of the nation, said in his address Lyubomir Karimanski from There Is Such a People, ITN, on behalf of the party:

Lyubomir Karimanski

“Combining knowledge with moral values can lead to a desire we cherish - to minimize corruption and to put in place new social conventions that will bring genuine freedom to people in Bulgaria. Knowledge-based governance as an approach to the way the country is ruled is not a new idea – it is a source of the much-needed processes of transformation in society and in the economy so that progress can be made,” Lyubomir Karimanski said. “There is Such a People will make every effort so that a government can be formed and parliament can last the full four years of its term of office.”

Democratic Bulgaria called for a constitutional reform of the judiciary

On behalf of Democratic Bulgaria, its co-chairman Hristo Ivanov stated that we cannot talk about democracy without remembering how things were – what we are up against, because it invariably raises its head. 

Hristo Ivanov

“I believe that most people want rule of law, maybe that means that all these years we have all been ready for a judicial reform. And that does not mean removing individuals, it means making the systemic changes in the judiciary and the prosecutor’s office that will modernize them, so as to make sure the law shall not be on paper only, but that there will be justice every member of the public can rely on. I am hopeful that this time we’ll succeed in doing that. We are being told - by our voters and by our partners in the EU – that we must carry through a constitutional reform,” Hristo Ivanov said. He pointed out that they will continue their work for the benefit of the Bulgarians abroad. As to North Macedonia, Hristo Ivanov stated that “we need to protect the Bulgaria’s interest, Bulgaria’s history and, together, become members of a common European family.”

Vazrazhdane stated they represent all Bulgarians inside the country and abroad

Today is the day on which the countdown is beginning for Bulgaria to rise from the rock bottom it has hit, Kostadin Kostadinov, chairman of Vazrazhdane party said in his declaration:

Kostadin Kostadinov

“A person with his back against the wall has two choices – to obey or to stand up for himself. We, from Vazrazhdane (meaning Revival – editorial note) are standing up for ourselves. Now we are here to say that we do not want Bulgaria to be deprived of a policy of its own. We are here to fight against the demographic catastrophe. We are here to say that we shall not tolerate restrictions and forced vaccination. We are here to say “no” to the green deal,” the leader of the smallest parliamentary group said, and added: “Bulgaria deserves good, responsible, credible governance. We, Bulgarians deserve high-quality education, healthcare and social policies. Bulgarians deserve fair payment for their labour. It is time we stopped being robbed of our future!”

Photos: BGNES

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