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News 17 Nov 17

Bulgaria's Speaker Quits Over Row With Opposition

Bulgarian MPs have appointed Tsveta Karayancheva from the leading GERB party to replace Dimitar Glavchev as speaker, after the latter resigned on Friday over a dispute with the main opposition party.

Mariya Cheresheva
Dimitar Glavchev. Photo: GERB

Dimitar Glavchev announced that he was resigning as speaker of Bulgaria's parliament on Friday after a meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, the leader of his party, GERB.

The main opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party had demanded his resignation after he expelled its leader, Korneliya Ninova, from a session of parliament on Wednesday, declaring that she had offended the Prime Minister, government and parliament in a declaration she read from the podium.

On Thursday, the Socialists warned that they would boycott parliamentary sessions until Glavchev, whom they accused of censoring them, resigned.

“Consider this as a moral act, as any other resignation, a moral act, and with this I hope to restore the normal parliamentary environment,” the ex-speaker said.

He denied claims that Borissov, who on Thursday said Glavchev had “lost his nerves” in expelling Ninova, had asked him to step down.

The majority of MPs then appointed Tsveta Karayancheva, the deputy speaker, also from GERB, to replace Glavchev, who is mulling whether or not to quit parliamentary life in general.

Glavchev’s decision to expel Ninova and her colleague, Anton Kutev, from Wednesday’s session drew a wave of criticism from the opposition and from political observers, who saw it as censorship and an authoritarian act.

In her declaration, Ninova had accused MPs of humiliating themselves by refusing to summon the Prime Minister for a hearing in parliament, after he had called them “vagabonds” on Sunday, adding that some of them were involved in drug-trafficking and vote buying.

Ninova on Friday called Glavchev’s resignation a “bitter lesson” for all concerned, and expressed the hope that it would serve as a new beginning for the work of the parliament.

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