Bulgarian parliament fails to impeach president

10:08, April 01, 2010      

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Bulgaria's first impeachment attempt against a president has failed following a vote in parliament Wednesday.

The vote was called by the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party against President Georgi Parvanov.

Although 162 signed their names on the impeachment request last Friday, only 155 of them voted for the motion on Wednesday, six votes short of the two-thirds of votes necessary in the 240-member parliament.

The failure means the request will not go to the constitutional court -- the only institution with the right to suspend the president.

The vote failed when the Party of Order, Lawfulness, Justice withdrew its support at the last minute in response to what it said was an attempt by the GERB leader -- and Bulgarian Prime Minister -- to replace the impeachment with a hidden vote of confidence for his "failing governmental policy".

GERB proposed the impeachment motion after the president illegally published his discussion with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov on his website.

Parvanov summoned Djankov after he alleged the president was a "billionaire" during a television show.

Some parliament members said Parvanov, whose second five-year term ends at the beginning of 2012, had violated the Constitution in his recent criticism of the ruling party, and that the president had hidden his role in the former Bulgarian secret service.

The co-chairman of the GERB parliamentary group, Krasimir Velchev, said the president should not compete with parliament and the government, and the presidential institution was used to push forward a new political force.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Coalition for Bulgaria parliamentary group Sergey Stanishev said the impeachment procedure was an ostentatious action against everybody who dares to oppose the government. Parvanov was a leader of Coalition for Bulgaria about 10 years ago.

Lyuben Kornezov, a former constitutional court judge and a Coalition for Bulgaria MP, said the impeachment request's arguments were rootless.

Government-president relations have been tense since the start of the GERB's tenure in July 2009. The president was also not popular with the previous ruling party, the Bulgarian Socialist Party.

The source of disputes with both ruling parties is the president's different view on how to boost the image of the country and its economic growth.

Source: Xinhua


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