Parliamentary Parties Make Political Assessments, Forecasts

December 27 (BTA) - Interviewed by BTA, MPs made
assessments of, and forecasts for, political developments in

Toma Bikov, MP of GERB:

The majority in Parliament showed it is real and does not depend
 on the opposition. The only possible governance formula is the
right-wing conservative coalition between GERB and the United
Patriots, which is ideologically compatible. The Bulgarian
Socialist Party (BSP) is certainly an aggressive opposition,
which has crossed certain red lines as a way of attacking entire
 sectors and institutions.

The good news about Bulgaria in 2018 is that it coped very well
with the serious challenge of holding the EU Council Presidency.

Hopefully, this will be a calm winter. Sometimes the people who
take to the streets do not represent the nation - this is what
parliamentary democracy and elections are for. No political
events are likely to greatly change the situation until the
European Parliament elections in May 2019.

President Rumen Radev's frequent exercise of the veto might
trivialize this instrument. "I hope he is not doing it to
position himself politically against the power holders."

BSP for Bulgaria Deputy Floor Leader Kroum Zarkov:

The feeling that early parliamentary elections are possible is
growing stronger. This past year was a lost year for Parliament
as none of the badly needed reforms was introduced for debate.
The National Assembly has been reduced to "a rubberstamp
endorsing a third party's will or to a scene of pointless
scandal". This year alone, the President vetoed legislation in
eight cases, which is a sign of Parliament's poor performance.

BSP for Bulgaria proposed 13 draft Acts, 12 draft resolutions
and hundreds of motions for changes between first and second
reading. "We moved for three votes of no confidence in the
cabinet: over corruption, the security policy, and health care.
However, our best achievement was the Alternative State Budget
Act. Our proposals prove that qualitatively different policies
are fully possible within reasonable budget parameters."

In 2019, the BSP will continue drafting a convincing, realistic
alternative to the present governance model.

United Patriots' Deputy Floor Leader Iskren Vesselinov (VMRO
Deputy Chairman): 

Bulgaria made a success of its EU Council Presidency and of the
major reform of its policy towards people with disabilities. The
 consensus on the  Armed Forces' modernization is another major

Тhe United Patriots' greatest success was the Energy Act
amendments which specify that the energy and water regulator
pronounces on the acquisition of energy company assets. Other
major achievements were the recognition of a Bulgarian national
minority in Albania, and the United Patriots' opposition to the
ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing
and combating violence against women and domestic violence
(Istanbul Convention), and to the UN Global Compact for Safe,
Orderly and Regular Migration. Bulgaria decided against joining
both of them.

The law-making priorities for the coming season include
finalizing Penal Code amendments criminalizing the preaching of
radical Islam and adopting amendments to the Religions Act.
Also, the United Patriots are drafting an Elderly People Act. 

The parliamentary group's main priorities include "dealing with
the lack of responsibility of some marginal groups through
administrative penalties, such as community service, because
those people do not pay fines and have no fear of the law".
Other proposed measures include curbing certain social benefits
on grounds of illiteracy.

Velislava Krasteva, MP of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms:

2018 was a year of missed opportunities to work on issues, to
meet voters' expectations, to implement reforms.

None of the important issues are in the hands of one party or
another. What is needed to resolve them is a consensus on the
implementation of top priorities and national goals.

"Early parliamentary elections will be pointless unless they are
 preceded by a dialogue which would help to identify the
national objectives and forge a consensus on them."

Volya Party Chairman and National Assembly Deputy Chair Vesselin

There are no prerequisites for early parliamentary elections.
"The people who are calling for them are lying. This would be in
 no one's best interest, according to sociologists, as the same
configuration will be voted into power. A few more ministers may
 be replaced, but I don't think the government will end its term
 ahead of schedule."

The past year has been successful for Volya. The parliamentary
group consolidated its position as a team different from the
status quo, with clear objectives and principles. The invitation
 extended to Volya to join the Movement for a Europe of Nations
and Freedom is undoubtedly a sign of the party's international
success. Other members of the Movement include Italy's Lega
Nord, France's National Rally, the Alternative for Germany party
 and Austria's Freedom Party.

"Once again this year, Volya was the only party that
consistently fought against the fuel cartel. This will remain
our top priority in 2019." RY/DD/DT


Source: Sofia