Bulgarian parliament backs Kiril Petkov as PM

After three elections, Bulgaria finally has a new government.

December 13th 2021

Bulgarian parliament backs Kiril Petkov as PM

The Bulgarian parliament on Monday approved a new government led by political newcomer and Harvard graduate Kiril Petkov, bringing to an end months of political turmoil.

“Today is an important day to continue change,” Petkov said in a speech to MPs, adding: “Our first task is to realize that if we want a better future for Bulgaria, we must work together.”

His party,  Continuing the Change (PP), won November’s parliamentary election — Bulgaria’s third election cycle this year — having run a campaign focused on stamping out corruption, but fell short of a majority.

Last Friday, the party reached a deal to form a coalition with the left-wing Socialist Party (BSP), the populist There is Such a People party (ITN) and the liberal Democratic Bulgaria alliance. Together, they have 134 seats in Bulgaria’s 240-seat parliament.

In his speech, the incoming PM said the country’s top priorities are fighting COVID-19 and an energy crisis, saying: “We have two options. One is to close our eyes to science. The other is to urge people to get vaccinated, the only way forward without locking up our children and elderly.”

On energy, Petkov said that the “Greek connection” should become a top priority, referring to the construction of a gas interconnector linking the two countries.

Sofia has been rocked by a rule-of-law crisis since the summer of 2020, when thousands of anti-corruption protesters hit the streets to demand that then-Prime Minister Boyko Borissov resign. An April election removed Borissov from power and a second vote in July offered no route to a new government before Petkov emerged in November’s vote.

“This government’s mandate will rest on having a zero-tolerance policy for corruption,” Petkov said.

(Source : https://www.politico.eu/article/bulgaria-parliament-kiril-petkov-prime-minister/)
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