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Political climate heats up a week before the inaugural sitting of the 48th National Assembly

Photo: BGNES

The inaugural sitting of the new 48th National Assembly will take place on October 19. The first dividing line between the political parties represented at the new Parliament emerged shortly after Bulgaria’s head of state Rumen Radev had signed a decree to convene the National Assembly. The tension was caused by the question whether Russia’s Ambassador to Bulgaria should be on the list of ambassadors to attend the inaugural sitting of the National Assembly.

The Coalition “Democratic Bulgaria”, which has already announced that it would submit a draft resolution on sending military and technical assistance to Ukraine immediately after the convening of the 48th National Assembly, has proposed that the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Bulgaria Eleonora Mitrofanova is not on the list of officials invited for the ceremony. The proposal of “Democratic Bulgaria” was backed by “We Continue the Change” party. The Bulgarian Socialist Party and Vazrazhdane party have opposed it. Later, on Facebook, GERB also spoke out against the presence of Ambassador Mitrofanova at the first sitting of the new Parliament.

It remains to be seen how the National Assembly will act, but the question at this point is to what an extent this row is indicative of some future decisions of the new Parliament such as whether a majority will be formed in favour of a decision to send military aid to Ukraine.

“This would be possible if some of the self-proclaimed Euro-Atlantic parties does not change its mind, Georg Georgiev, a member of Parliament from GERB party and former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in an interview for the BNR. “Every second without a regular government and without efforts aimed at resolving the crisis is a waste of time for the country”, Georg Georgiev contends. In his words, it is difficult to predict the outcome of the talks on forming a government. Being the first political force in the new Parliament, GERB will receive the first exploratory cabinet-forming mandate. Would the party boycott the second and the third government-forming mandate?

“GERB has never boycotted anything. Let us first see what will happen with the first cabinet-forming mandate and then comment on the second and the third mandates. Political passions are heated up to such an extent that it is very difficult to guess what will happen. We very much hope that the political parties will show the necessary foresight. GERB will do its utmost to form a cabinet, but 67 MPs are not enough for a ruling majority. The political parties must realize that they are elected to bring stability back to this country.”

Georg Georgiev

The need for a stable government is particularly clear against the backdrop of the deepening tensions between Russia and the West. Bulgaria rejected reports that the truck linked to the powerful blast on the Crimea Bridge had travelled via its territory. “It has been indisputably established that the truck blown up on the Crimea Bride was never in the territory of Bulgaria”, the country’s government said in a statement. “Bulgaria should not have engaged with this issue in any way, apart from saying that everything that comes out of Moscow must be ignored”, former Minister of Defense and expert in national security Velizar Shalamanov said for the BNR. He assumed that the Bulgarian services had received a secret information from Moscow and warned that if that were the case, the national security is at risk.

Velizar Shalamanov

“The President’s effort to limit the role of the National Assembly by postponing its inaugural sitting and the scandalous decision of the administration to invite Ambassador Mitrofanova are already serious problems. The Parliament’s administration, as well as the entire public administration is currently run by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria by virtue of the caretaker government and the links inherited by the parties which nominated the president. Tensions have already occurred before the inaugural sitting of the new Parliament. However, I am confident that a parliamentary majority, based on the responsibility for Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people, will be formed with regard to the provision of military assistance to Ukraine.”

Compiled by: Elena Karkalanova/ interviews by Silvia Velikova, BNR-Horizont

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: BGNES-archive
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