Bulgaria’s parliament endorses new government with rotating PM

Bulgaria’s parliament endorses new government with rotating PM
MPs backed the government headed by CC-DB's Nikolai Denkov, who will hand over to Gerb’s Mariya Gabriel after nine months. / parliament.bg
By Denitsa Koseva in Sofia June 6, 2023

Bulgaria’s parliament backed on June 6 the proposed government that will be led in rotation first by Change Continues-Democratic Bulgaria’s (CC-DB's) Nikolai Denkov and later by Gerb’s Mariya Gabriel.

The election of a regular government gives the country a chance to put an end to the deepest political crisis in decades it has been facing over the past two years and would allow parliament to adopt budget for 2023 and long-delayed key legislation changes needed to unlock a second tranche under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

As expected, the government was backed by MPs from Gerb-SDS and CC-DB. Two MPs from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) also voted in favour of the proposed cabinet. All other MPs voted against it.

DB’s co-leader Hristo Ivanov said during the debates prior to the vote that the election of a government does not put an end to the political crisis and the country has far heavier problem to solve – the crisis related to public agreement between politicians and the people. He said this crisis was caused as Bulgaria has not completed the transition from part of the Communist block to a democracy and set four key priorities for Bulgaria: a new start for the judiciary, restarting regulatory and anti-corruption institutions, finding consensus on the key parts of the electoral process, and cleansing and modernising the security services.

On the opposite side, Kostadin Kostadinov, the leader of far-right pro-Russian Vazrazhdane party, said this government was created by the US embassy in the country and accused Gerb-SDS and CC-DB of staging a coup. 

President Rumen Radev also openly spoke against the government, saying that the leaders of the parties backing it have betrayed the country.

The government will rule the country at least for 18 months and will work on a legislation programme that was previously approved by Gerb-SDS and CC-DB.

The newly-elected Finance Minister Assen Vassilev has pledged to table for approval a budget for 2023 with a 3% deficit within two weeks.

The government will also try its best to get a green light for entry to the Schengen border-free area by the end of this year and will work towards the fastest possible entry to the eurozone.

The two formations, with the support of the DPS, will try to change the constitution to complete the reform of the judiciary.

The priority laws include those reforming the anti-corruption body, introduction of a mechanism to investigate the chief prosecutor (which was already adopted by lawmakers in May) and changes to the law on domestic violence.