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(DF) GERB-UDF Challenges Moratorium on Government Decisions before Constitutional Court

April 26 (BTA) – In a complaint lodged with the Constitutional Court on Monday, the GERB-UDF Parliamentary Group challenged the constitutionality of a moratorium that the National Assembly imposed by a resolution of April 22 on certain decisions by the outgoing Government for the period until the formation of a new cabinet or the appointment of a caretaker cabinet. The resolution that is attacked was passed by all 151 MPs attending the sitting of the 240-member legislature. GERB-UDF stood out of the vote. The moratorium applies to concession awards; incurring new government debt; making changes in the management and supervisory bodies of public companies, State-owned healthcare establishments or appointing new management and supervisory bodies; sale of public movable or immovable property; and appointments of senior office holders and civil servants. The Constitutional Court was also asked to issue an interpretative decision on the moratorium and to pronounce urgently “because the moratorium affects, among other things, the medical-treatment facilities, which can hardly cope with the pandemic if they are unable to dispose of their movable and immovable property,” GERB-UDF Floor Leader Dessislava Atanassova explained. At an extraordinary news briefing on Friday evening, Atanassova said that her parliamentary group will ask the Constitutional Court whether it is admissible for the National Assembly, by a resolution, to subtract or constrain powers vested in the government and other public authorities performing a function under the Bulgarian Constitution. “The National Assembly resolution is in conflict with Bulgaria’s Constitution and breaches the principles of the rule of law and of the separation of powers. It restricts the operation of the Council of Ministers and of each state body established by the Constitution or by a law, including the judiciary, the Constitutional Court itself and the Administration of the President,” outgoing Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva argued for her part at the briefing. Later in the day, the Constitutional Court said it will examine the request to declare unconstitutional the National Assembly resolution. The members of the Court are asked to determine whether it is admissible to suspend, by a resolution of Parliament, the exercise of powers of the President and the executive branch of government that are established in the Constitution and are elaborated in the laws, including when the Council of Ministers performs its functions until the election of a new cabinet. Konstantin Penchev has been designated reporting judge in the case. RY/LG //