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EU member ousts pro-NATO government in no-confidence vote — Analysis

Bulgarian prime Minister accuses Russia of causing the defection in his junior coalition partner

On Wednesday, the Parliament rejected a vote of no confidence in Kiril Petkov’s government. He lost it after his weak ruling coalition was joined by a junior member. Harvard graduate, and ex-Canadian citizen, denounced those he criticised as Russian agents who are beholden of organized crime. He also promised to fight to keep Bulgaria free from corruption. “normal European country.”

Of the 239 members in the parliament in Sofia, 123 voted for Petkov’s ouster in what Bulgarian state media described as the first successful no-confidence vote in the country’s modern history. Only 116 of the 239 members in Sofia voted for Petkov’s ouster, and there were no abstentions.

Petkov, after the election, accused Revival of being a conduit. “Russian interests”He said that it was an honor to be a leader of a government fighting corruption and organized criminality.

“We will continue to fight so that one day we can have a Bulgaria without the mafia, a normal successful European country,”Petkov stated this in his closing remarks. 

Rumen Radev has now made three unsuccessful attempts at a new government. If all of them fail, he would have to dissolve the parliament and call a new general election – the fourth since April 2021. 

“This parliament has brought only shame and disgrace to Bulgarian democracy. The sooner it is sent into history, the better for Bulgaria,”Kostadin Kostadinov was the revival leader. Deputy leader of the opposition GERB party, Daniel Mitov, said Petkov’s attempt to blame Russia was just the ousted PM “looking for an alibi”For his loss. 

The no-confidence vote was technically caused when the ITN party led by former TV personality Slavi Trifonov defected from Petkov’s ruling coalition over budget concerns and the government’s willingness to support neighboring North Macedonia’s bid to join the EU. The break also came amid rising economic hardship, as Petkov’s anti-Russian stance led to Bulgaria getting cut off from 90% of its natural gas supplies. 

Petkov (42), had dismissed Defense Minister Stefan Yanev on February 2, accusing him with promoting “Russian narratives”After referring to the conflict in Ukraine, he said: “military operation”It is not war. The government of the Ukrainian president also promised to fix military equipment in Ukraine and increase NATO’s presence in eastern Europe.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had publicly thankedPetkov was earlier Wednesday to attend a “readiness to support granting our country the status of a candidate for EU membership.”

Petkov earned a Finance degree at the University of British Columbia as well as a MBA in Management from Harvard. Petkov claimed that he had renounced Canadian citizenship to be the economy minister of the former cabinet. However, it was discovered that the process hadn’t been completed until August. In September 2021, he founded the We Continue the Change party (PP), with Asen Vasilev from Harvard. He became the prime minister with the support and participation of 134 MPs.



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