Bulgaria’s govt survives no-confidence vote amid protests


SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) – Bulgaria’s center-right government on Tuesday survived the fifth no-confidence vote called by the Socialist opposition over its alleged failure to curb widespread graft.

The 240-member parliament rejected the motion by 124-102, with 11 abstentions and three 3 lawmakers absent.

The more serious challenge for Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s government are the two-week-old street protests in which tens of thousands of Bulgarians insist that the government resign, accusing it of corruption, authoritarian rule and dependence on criminal groups.

The protesters, mainly young and well-educated, gathered Tuesday in front of parliament, voiced dissatisfaction with what they call a corrupt model of governance in which influential media moguls and oligarchs support Borissov in return for state-sponsored favors.

Cabinet members rejected calls for their resignation, saying it would cause political chaos in times of crisis while noting that according to the latest opinion polls, Borissov’s party, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, would still get the most votes.

Borissov has been in power since 2009 and his third term is set to end in March 2021.