Address of the President of the National Assembly Mihail Mikov
Almost a year ago I had turned to you and had expressed my worries about the events occurring around the National Assembly. Today I avail myself to address you again, this time in respect to what is happening inside the National Assembly.
At the political consultations we have agreed on the date of the preliminary elections and that the National Assembly would continue working until it is dissolved in the month of August. This week again we have witnessed a purposeful hampering of the work of the legislature. Exchanged were sharp accusations and allegations that the existing agreements had not been kept and for compliance with inexistent ones. The National Assembly has not held sittings in the last days despite that it had a working program, conformant to the needs of the society, adopted on Wednesday morning by the deputies.
As the snap elections get closer, the parliament is used recklessly for partisanship, something eroding the foundations of parliamentarism and democracy. I do find this inadmissible and I would like to warn about some possible negative effects of blocking the work of the parliament. I do not accept the stances, declaring that the members of parliament would limit their duties under the Constitution to get present in the plenary hall just for the vote of the upcoming resignation of the government. This contradicts the Constitution and the reached agreements. If the occasional leaving of the plenary hall by one parliamentary group could be accepted as a form of ultimate disagreement with particular decisions the systematic and purposeful boycott of the National Assembly represents behavior directed against the Constitution, which demolishes the democratic foundations of society.
The so created situation is propitious to and we observe already attempts for an outside intervention in the work of the National Assembly by seizing of its constitutional powers and by breaches in the principle of division of powers.
I would like to recall that until the adjournment of the National Assembly it continues to be the highest legitimate representative power in the state and it should perform its constitutional functions. The legislative activity and the control function of the parliament could not be carried out by any other state body and in any other form, particularly by temporary entities with unclear status, unclear functions and composition. Therefore I oppose all such steps that do not comply with the Constitution currently in effect.
I would like to further stress that part of the agenda of the National Assembly, until it is dissolved, covers acts, the passing of which are important for all citizens of the state of Bulgaria.
Such are amendments to laws which if not passed would affect thousands of Bulgarian citizens. Here is the place to apologize to the Bulgarian producers that in the present situation new consideration of the vetoed, by the President, Competition Protection Act seems even more difficult to occur.
It becomes impossible to end the adoption of laws introducing Directives on which we have political consensus. As a result of this the country could bear financial sanctions that are not in the interest of any Bulgarian citizen.
In addition we can’t ratify the agreements with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development which would facilitate the absorption of the European funds in the fields of healthcare, energy, infrastructure and agriculture. If these agreements were not ratified on time they would be lost, something that would hamper the next government, regardless of which party it is going to be.
The ratifications of the Association Agreements between the European Union and Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia are important for Bulgaria. Their delay will be bad sign for our partners from the European Union and the countries candidates for full membership. It would diminish the role of our country as member of the EU and as a factor for stability in the region.
The lack of quorum in the plenary hall foils the control over the government. This control had been of particular importance in periods similar to the one right now. It is against the interest of society to leave the executive branch of government without oversight until the formation of the caretaker government.
I am very concerned about the opportunities which Bulgaria is missing today and about the risks it is exposed to as a result of the deliberate actions against the National Assembly. I thing that all Members of Parliament should carry on their constitutional duties and protect the interests of the citizens by their active participation in the work of the parliament. Everything else is against the Constitution and the national interests. If we let this destructive behavior transform itself into a steady practice, the latter could erode the representative democracy in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian citizens don’t have interest in this to happen. I call on all parliamentary members to come take active part in the remaining sessions of the National Assembly, because there is no alternative to the parliamentary rule in a democratic Bulgaria.