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UPDATE 1 - Bulgarian reformist coalition cabinet loses no-confidence vote

UPDATE 1 - Bulgarian reformist coalition cabinet loses no-confidence vote Author: Municipality of Sofia. License: All rights reserved.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 22 (SeeNews) - SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 22 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria’s six-month-old reformist coalition government led by prime minister Kiril Petkov lost a no confidence vote on Wednesday, the tally of the vote showed.

The no-confidence motion was supported by 123 MPs out of 239 voting, according to the tally published on the website of public television BNT. It needed 121 votes in the 240-seat National Assembly to pass.

Petkov was keen to gain the support of enough MPs for the government to survive so as to keep judicial reform on track, rejig the anti-corruption commission and win approval for a proposed budget revision bill, which includes a 2 billion levs ($1.1 billion/1 billion euro) package to alleviate economic challenges made worse by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The motion was submitted by former prime minister Boyko Borissov's GERB party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and nationalist Revival party. MPs from former junior government coalition partner There Is Such a People (TISP) which left the coalition earlier this month also supported the no confidence motion.

GERB filed the motion last week, citing failures in the economic and financial policy of the government. There Is Such a People (TISP) earlier withdrew all of its four ministers from the government.

The three political formations remaining in the government coalition after the withdrawal of TISP - We Continue the Change, led by Petkov, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, and the anti-status quo, pro-reform Democratic Bulgaria coalition - have a total of 109 MPs among themselves.

According to the Constitution, now the Bulgarian president is to ask the largest group in parliament - We Continue the Change, to form a cabinet within the current legislature within seven days. If they fail, president Rumen Radev will task the second biggest party - GERB to form a government. If they also fail, the president will mandate a third political formation of his choice to try to put together a cabinet.

Failing a third attempt to form a government in the current parliament, the president will appoint a caretaker cabinet and call snap general elections.

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