Bulgarian parliament to start reviewing proposal to amend constitution

The Bulgarian parliament will today start discussing a proposal by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s conservative Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria

Bulgarian PM

Photo: Flickr/EU2017EE

The Bulgarian parliament will today start discussing a proposal by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s conservative Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party to amend the constitution.

The suggested constitutional reform, which sparked immediate criticism from the opposition, seeks to increase the power of the general prosecutor’s office and decrease that of the president—a major critic of Borissov’s GERB—and the judiciary.

Amid July’s protests calling for the resignation of Borissov and General Prosecutor Ivan Geshev, the push for constitutional change is seen by many as a desperate attempt by Borissov to win time as he nears the end of his third term in March 2021. In recent months, Borissov has futilely tried to appease protester demands for an end to institutional corruption and the abuse of power by firing four ministers.

The GERB’s chances of implementing the constitutional reform depend on whether it can coordinate the votes of at least 120 members of parliament, 104 of which it has already secured. However, considering that GERB’s traditional allies—such as the ultra-nationalist United Patriots and the right-wing Volya Party—have not lent it the expected support, the GERB’s constitutional reform are likely to hit critical roadblocks.

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