Absent Lawmakers Hinder Bulgarian Parliament Session

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An extraordinary session of the Bulgarian parliament on Thursday fell through because not enough legislators attended the meeting, to the frustration of the opposition Socialists.

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Lawmakers belonging to the governing conservative-nationalist coalition parties did not show up at the session, which had been called in the middle of summer break by the opposition to discuss increasing the 2020 state budget.

According to the senior coalition partner GERB, the party of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, the proposal submitted by the Socialists was not sufficiently comprehensive.

The Socialist leader, Kornelia Ninova, noted that the country was in a political and institutional crisis.

The organiser of the protests that rocked the country since July 9, Hristo Ivanov, said Borisov was continuing the years-long practice of humiliating parliament.

Dozens of demonstrators stood outside parliament, throwing eggs and tomatoes at the entrance and calling once again for the resignation of Borisov’s government.

However, there was no blockade of parliament, which protesters had threatened if Borisov did not resign by Wednesday.

The demonstrators, supported by the Socialists and President Rumen Radev, say the government is corrupt and dependent on oligarchs.

However, the coalition government, which had been in power since 2017, said it would not yield to pressure from street protests, citing the coronavirus pandemic and upcoming parliamentary elections in March 2021, as reasons to remain in power.

On Wednesday, the cabinet adopted a coronavirus aid package of 130 million leva (or 78 million dollars).

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