The Bulgarian government fell after a vote of confidence in Parliament. Members of the opposition voted on a vote of no confidence, which passed by 123 votes to 116. The government was in power for only six months.
The opposition says Prime Minister Petkov’s pro-European government has done little to tackle inflation and other economic problems in the country. One of Petkov’s coalition partners, ITN, withdrew its support earlier this month, leading to a vote of no confidence. The GERB party presented it to the conservative ex-prime minister Borisov, who led the country for ten years.
It remains unclear whether new elections will follow. Petkov will have another opportunity to form a new government, as will two other parties. Otherwise, it is up to President Radev to call new elections within two months. This means the country will have to go to the polls for the fourth time since April of last year.
“We promise that one day Bulgaria will be a successful and prosperous European country without a mafia,” Peskov said after the vote of no-confidence. He promised his supporters to continue implementing reforms.
Bulgaria is one of the poorest member states of the European Union. The downfall of the government also threatens European funds, as does Bulgaria’s accession to the euro. It is due in 2024.
There was also significant disagreement within the alliance over the accession of North Macedonia to the European Union. The government has long opposed this accession, in part because Bulgaria wants North Macedonia to recognize its “Bulgarian roots”. But Petkov recently opened the door for this veto to be lifted under pressure from the European Union and NATO. Alliance partner ITN felt that Petkov did not take Bulgarian interests seriously.
Petkov is very positive about the EU and NATO by Bulgarian standards. Bulgaria had good relations with Russia in the past.
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