Bulgarian government faces no-confidence vote and political turmoil.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov greets pro-government demonstrators as he exits after a no-confidence vote at the parliament in Sofia, Bulgaria, June 22, 2022. REUTERS/Spasiyana Sergieva
SOFIA, June 22 (Reuters) – A no-confidence vote on Wednesday toppled Bulgarias government and Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, who had pledged to tackle corruption and took an unusually strong stance against Russia.
Opposition lawmakers brought down the government – which took power six months ago – on a 123-116 vote after the ruling coalition lost its majority over disputes on budget spending and whether Bulgaria should unlock North Macedonias EU accession.
They accused the government of failing to implement fiscal and economic policies to tame surging inflation in the European Unions poorest member state.
Bulgaria now faces possibly its fourth general election since April 2021, putting at risk millions of euros from EU recovery funds and its plans to adopt the euro in 2024.
“This vote is only one small step in a very long way,” Petkov said following the vote. “What they fail to understand is that this is not the way to win the Bulgarian people.”
Petkov, a 42-year-old Harvard graduate who had pledged to combat corruption, has taken a strong pro-European and pro-NATO position since Russia invaded Ukraine, an unusual stance for a country traditionally friendly toward Moscow.
Petkov sacked his defence minister in February for refusing to call the Russian invasion of Ukraine “war”, backed EU sanctions against Moscow and agreed to repair Ukraines heavy military machinery while stopping short of sending arms to Kyiv.
The ensuing political gridlock may also hinder Bulgarias efforts to secure stable natural gas inflows after Moscow cut gas deliveries to the country, which was almost completely reliant on Russian gas, over Sofias refusal to pay in roubles.
Deputy Prime Minister Assen Vassilev expressed hope parliament would still vote to approve budget changes drafted to raise state pensions and support households as food and fuel prices surge.
The former coalition partner ITN left the government after accusing Petkov of disregarding Bulgarias interests by pushing to lift its veto on North Macedonias EU accession talks under pressure from its EU and NATO allies.
Petkov has argued that any decision on the veto should be put to vote in parliament. Earlier on Wednesday, in a sudden shift, the main opposition GERB party said it would support lifting of the veto, but political bickering prevented a debate on the issue.
Lawmakers will now meet again on Thursday to discuss whether Sofia should unlock Skopjes EU accession. Petkov will maintain Bulgarias veto at the EU summit this week, unless the parliament gives him a different mandate.
Petkov has rejected any coalition talks with opposition parties in the chamber but will seek defections from lawmakers to garner enough support for a new government and avoid early elections.
President Rumen Radev is required to call elections within two months and appoint a caretaker administration should Petkov fail to cobble together a majority for a new cabinet and if two other parties in parliament cannot form a government.
All this news that I have made and shared for you people, you will like it very much and in it we keep bringing topics for you people like every time so that you keep getting news information like trending topics and you It is our goal to be able to get
all kinds of news without going through us so that we can reach you the latest and best news for free so that you can move ahead further by getting the information of that news together with you. Later on, we will continue
to give information about more today world news update types of latest news through posts on our website so that you always keep moving forward in that news and whatever kind of information will be there, it will definitely be conveyed to you people.
All this news that I have brought up to you or will be the most different and best news that you people are not going to get anywhere, along with the information Trending News, Breaking News, Health News, Science News, Sports News, Entertainment News, Technology News, Business News, World News of this news, you can get other types of news along with your country and city. You will be able to get information related to, as well as you will be able to get information about what is going on around you through us for free
so that you can make yourself a knowledgeable by getting complete information about your country and state and information about news. Whatever is being given through us, I have tried to bring it to you through other websites, which you may like
very much and if you like all this news, then definitely around you. Along with the people of India, keep sharing such news necessary to your loved ones, let all the news influence them and they can move forward two steps further.