Bulgaria capitals

Bulgaria sets date for no-confidence vote amid protests

Protesters gather in support of the government in Sofia, Bulgaria on June 17. Photo by Svetoslav Todorov.

The Bulgarian coalition will face a vote of no confidence next Wednesday, June 22, preceded by an emergency debate on Tuesday, Parliament announced on Friday.

The minority cabinet of ‘We continue the change’ mandate holders, their closest allies Democratic Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, will face a petition filed by their former partners ‘There is such a people’ – who abruptly left the cabinet on June 8 over the alleged lifting of the EU blockade on North Macedonia and the mismanagement of funds – the former decision GERB party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and the extreme right pro-Kremlin The comeback.

On Friday, Prime Minister and ‘We Keep Change’ co-leader Kiril Petkov denied wrongdoing and said ‘There are such people’ had been trying to keep financial plans of donating money intact. state money to private companies with problematic reputations.

“We refused to give a budget of 3.9 billion levs (about two billion euros), part of which, 2.5 billion (about 1.7 billion euros), was to continue to cover the costs of construction ; 80% of these companies turned out to be illegal. And when we refused to give these funds, ‘There is such a people’ decided that it was better not to have this government. They were hoping to give the go-ahead for these big thefts, but that didn’t happen,” Petkov said. Weekly Capital.

The coalition currently has 109 deputies out of the 121 necessary for its survival. The parliament has a total of 240 seats, the figure of 109 could increase to 114. But the cabinet will still need seven more votes to survive, which could come from the divided party “There is such a people”.

On Thursday, Nikola Minchev, of “We keep the change going”, was ousted as president. Growing opposition in parliament ousted him with 125 MPs in favor and 114 against.

Later Thursday, however, several thousand demonstrators gathered around the National Assembly for a rare show of support for the government.

People cheered “We continue the change” and MPs from Democratic Bulgaria and threw bottles and other objects at opposition members.

“There will be a vote of no confidence but that should not disappoint you: it is only a phase, which we will overcome,” Petkov told the demonstrators, waving Bulgarian and European flags.

So Toshko Yordanov of ‘There Are Such People’ attempted to address the crowd but was dragged back to parliament by police after protesters began booing him and throwing bottles at him.

Demonstrations are also planned in Plovdiv and Varna.

If the government is overthrown, the GERB will be given a mandate to form a government that could include the parties currently in opposition. If these talks prove unsuccessful, new elections will be held.

“There is such a people”, who crossed the floor from the government coalition to the opposition, is in the process of disintegrating.

Six members, including Youth and Sports Minister Radostin Vassilev, left on June 14, alleging that leaders Slavi Trifonov and Toshko Yordanov have links to criminal structures and that the heated debates over North Macedonia are only a smokescreen for such activities.

In later appearances, Vassilev said other MPs were afraid to quit the party because they were constantly threatened.

On Friday, MP Kiril Simeonov also announced that he was leaving the party. “I’m ashamed that we voted with those we opposed before,” he said.

President Rumen Radev, who has also gone from supporter to critic of the coalition, on Friday called the current events “muddy battles”.