Bulgarian government survives no-confidence vote

Bulgarian government survives no-confidence vote
By Dimitar Koychev February 19, 2016

As expected, the Bulgarian government survived a no-confidence vote on February 19 by a substantial margin. The no-confidence motion was filed on February 11 by 69 MPs, who accused the government of failing the population in the provision of healthcare.

Just 80 lawmakers voted in favour of the motion to dismiss the prime minister Boyko Borissov’s minority government, while in order to be successful, the motion had to be supported by 121 votes in the 240-member assembly. Notably, almost all members of the Reformist Bloc, including those who decided recently to quit the government, voted against the motion.

The opposition Socialist Party (BSP) and Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) are understood to have spent considerable time discussing how to file a no-confidence motion against the government, deciding in the end to base it on the government’s healthcare strategy. However, attempts to drum up support for the motion failed.

The motion was supported all 38 MPs from the BSP, all 30 from the predominantly ethnic Turk DPS, nine (out of 11) from the opposition nationalist party Ataka, as well as three independent MPs, Dnevnik daily reported.

There were 130 votes against the motion and five abstentions. The votes against came from Borissov’s ruling centre-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), its junior coalition partner Reformist Bloc, the left-wing Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV), which has one cabinet member, the nationalist Patriotic Front that usually supports the government, as well as three independent lawmakers.

The Reformist Bloc, which has 23 lawmakers, accounted for 21 of the votes against. This means that most MPs in the bloc’s 10-member opposition faction have supported the government.

The five abstentions came from the Bulgarian Democratic Centre.

This was the first no-confidence vote against the current coalition government led by GERB, which and has been in office since November 2014. GERB is now in power for the second time; its first government, when it ruled without coalition partners, was in power from July 2009 to March 2013.