Bulgaria government faces no-confidence vote amid anti-graft protests – Metro US

Bulgaria government faces no-confidence vote amid anti-graft protests

FILE PHOTO: EU leaders summit in Brussels
FILE PHOTO: EU leaders summit in Brussels

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s main opposition party filed a motion of no-confidence in Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s government on Wednesday and called for his resignation amid nationwide protests against corruption.

But the fifth such vote against the centre-right coalition government does not look likely to succeed as it is supported by a small populist party and some independent lawmakers.

Borissov said he would decide whether to stay in office after his return from an EU summit later this week, warning that Bulgaria needed to consolidate to face a looming economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus.

“I will meet with our coalition partners and if we do not have a stability plan that we can agree upon, including with the opposition parties as well… no one can manage alone,” he told a government meeting. “After the EU summit, we will talk again.”

Thousands of Bulgarians have called on Borissov, in office almost without a break since 2009, as well as on the country’s chief prosecutor to resign over rampant high-level graft that has weakened state institutions and benefited powerful tycoons.

Bulgaria, the poorest member of the European Union and ranked the bloc’s most corrupt state by graft watchdog Transparency International, has yet to jail a senior official on corruption charges.

The leader of the main opposition Socialist party, Kornelia Ninova, said she would not support any plan that includes Borissov.

Debates and a vote on the no-confidence motion will take place next week. More protests are planned later on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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