Bulgaria: Prime Minister Pro-European disavowed

The Bulgarian government, which had difficulty emerged from the ballot boxes in 2021, fell on June 22, after a motion of censorship passed by the opposition. A period of instability is announced for the country.


The government of the Kiril Petkov coalition – victorious outing of the ballot boxes in November 2021 after three legislative elections in a row – fell six months after his training, following a censorship motion voted on Wednesday, June 22 by the Parliament. Already weakened by strong internal dissensions, aggravated by the war in Ukraine, the government of this fellow graduate of Harvard had not had a parliamentary majority since June 8, the nationalist party ITN (“there is such a people”) having then having left its quadripartite coalition. Its leader, singer Stanislav Trifonov, known as “Slavi”, was notably opposed to the opening policy of Kiril Petkov to North Macedonia. Bulgaria, a member of the European Union since 2007, is vetoing its membership of its little neighbor to the European Union – it has been a candidate since 2005 – due to historical and cultural litigation.

France, by proposing its mediation, had hoped for a green light from Bulgaria to open Skopje membership negotiations with Brussels. The fall of the Bulgarian Prime Minister pro-European on the eve of the conference on Western Balkans, Thursday, June 23, in Brussels, risks compromising any advance. Paradoxically, the political enemy of Kiril Petkov, the former Prime Minister Boïko Borissov, announced to support the French roadmap.

It is this tenor of Bulgarian politics who will have brought the blow of grace to the government of Petkov, who wanted to break with the corruption of his predecessor and adopt the euro from 2024. With his right coalition Gerb-SDS, He easily gathered the votes necessary to have the motion of censorship approved, officially motivated by “the failure of the government’s economic and financial policy”, while inflation peaked at 15.6 % in May. Following European sanctions towards Moscow, Gazprom suspended its gas deliveries to Bulgaria in April, further increasing the price of hydrocarbon.

Kiril Petkov may have gathered thousands of sympathizers – but also opponents – around Parliament in recent days and convinced six dissident deputies of ITN, he will have missed the approval of five additional parliamentarians. “I promise you (…) that one day we will have a European state which succeeds, without arrangement behind the scenes, nor mafia,” he said on Wednesday after the vote.

Coalition “Dislocked interior”

“Kiril Petkov was at the head of a very fragile coalition, built around heterogeneous parties, with divergent ideologies, which rested themselves on coalitions”, explains sociologist Boriana Dimitrova, at the head of the society of Alpha Research survey. And disagreements within the government have multiplied in recent months, whether it is to deliver weapons to Ukraine, to approve the sanctions against Russia or to lift the veto on the North Macedonia.

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/Media reports.