The Mice and the Cat: No Confidence Vote in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Prime Minister feels like a cat in parliament (

The Bulgarian Prime Minister survived another no confidence vote in Parliament today, Friday, 17 June.

“Mice conspire how to tie a bell-string on the cat’s neck” said Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov comparing himself with the cat and Bulgarian MPs with the mice. Typically, Bulgarian politicians start telling fables when they are certain that they are on the safe side. Borissov’s words deserve to be the quote of the day and they got a top rating on a couple of Bulgarian media sites. The Bulgarian PM also modestly observed that if he had not come to power, Bulgaria would have followed the suit of now-bankrupt Greece.

Today the center-right government of Borisov’s GERB party survived a no confidence vote, submitted by the opposition over its failure to tackle the ongoing economic crisis.

A total of 124 members of parliament voted against, 70 supported it, while 2 abstained. Borissov achieved the predicted victory thankful to votes of fragments of the nationalist ‘Attaka’ party, ethnic-Turkish DPS and the right-wing RZS (Order, Law, Justice). Independent members of parliament essentially secured the government’s chance to continue.

Under the Bulgarian legislation, to survive in a vote of no confidence the government needs a simple majority of all 240 MPs to back it.

MPs lost more energy over procedure-related disputes than on the vote itself. The Prime Minister did not honor the event as he was busy inaugurating a museum of modern art and a water-supply station. Bulgaria’s football talent Hristo Stoichkov went to Parliament as a fan of Boyko Borissov and sat for him during entire noisy and toilsome procedure.

GERB party has 117 of a total of 240 seats in the unicameral parliament and forms a minority government with the support of ‘Ataka’ and the small center-right ‘Blue Coalition’. The unruly ‘Ataka’ leader Volen Siderov himself boycotted the vote today, as did the members of the Blue Coalition.

This is the second no confidence vote in a row that the Borisov government had to endure. The first one was tabled over its health care policy and failed due to the votes of GERB and Ataka MPs.

The next no confidence vote is already scheduled for July and it will be about the entire policy of the government. Bulgaria’s Socialist Party and the ethnic-Turkish DPS will initiate a new no confidence motion right before the summer recess of Parliament as they see chance for preliminary elections in autumn.

One of the epitomes of Bulgaria’s folk wisdom is “When there is no bread, there is always a circus.” One things is certain that circus’ shows are doomed to last forever in Bulgaria.

(Sources: own research of Middle East & Balkans News) / Image: JB Photography


About Johann Brandstätter

Photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Bulgaria, working mainly in the Balkans and the Middle East. Conflicts & crises, social and environmental issues, defense & military, travel, transportation.
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