site.btaUPDATED Deputy PM Gabriel: Constitutional Changes Require Time for Parliamentary Debate So They Would Be Understood by Society
Constitutional changes are not at all limited to just the support of GERB-UDF, Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria, and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF): the Bulgarian Socialist Party is part of that process too, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel told bTV on Sunday. According to her, constitutional changes require broad parliamentary support as well as time for debate so that they would be understood by society. The debate should happen in the National Assembly, she added.
The MRF has a bill to amend the Constitution that has been coordinated with the Venice Commission, Gabriel said, adding that she expects other bills to be tabled in Parliament.
Commenting on the calls for Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev’s resignation, she said: “In the last years, citizens and political leaders have more than once stated the need not of an individual change but of a step related to the Prosecutor General’s powers that would restore citizens’ sense of justice. This step might be the first but it does not at all exhaust the need of a comprehensive judicial reform.”
Commenting on the Prosecutor General’s request that Parliament strip GERB leader Boyko Borissov of his MP immunity, Gabriel said that we are witnessing psychological attacks and compromising materials. She recalled that Borissov was without immunity for two years. The GERB Executive Commission will not change its position against the lifting of MP immunities until the judicial reform becomes a fact, she noted.
Asked if she would revise ambassador appointments, Gabriel said it is most important to see the Foreign Ministry’s budget, which should allow the Ministry to carry out diplomatic activity.
At this stage, there is no decision on a European Commissioner nominee by Bulgaria to take her place, she explained, adding that there will be unanimity on the topic with Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov. “We will discuss this when the topic is on the agenda. We are expecting a letter from the European Commission that we should start the procedure,” she said.
Asked about the reasons for her decision to leave the European Commission and become part of the Bulgarian government, Gabriel said that one of the reasons was the need of a regular cabinet and a working government. In her words, the lack of action in the last two years posed the danger of missing opportunities for the country’s development. It is important for Bulgaria to state its Euro-Atlantic orientation firmly.