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President Continues Lashing Out at Cabinet over Rotation, Constitutional Amendments

President Rumen Radev said Wednesday that the forthcoming Cabinet rotation in March is not a rotation but a resignation of the Government. Speaking to journalists at pruning of vineyards between the villages of Gomotartsi and Koshava (Northwest Bulgaria), he recalled that there is a clear procedure in the Constitution, according to which when the Cabinet resigns, the President must consult with political forces and hand a government-forming mandate to the biggest political force in the National Assembly.
When Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria and GERB-UDF proposed a formation of a government on a rotational basis in May 2023, the two political forces said that each rotation will require a resignation of the cabinet. It is the only possible procedure provided for by the Bulgarian Constitution. None of the parties participating in the government has ever indicated that it intends to act otherwise.
On February 11, Radev stated that the squabbles over the forthcoming rotation leave Bulgarian citizens “with the impression that it does not matter so much who the chess pieces will be on the power board, because it is evident that the decisions are taken by other people elsewhere.” Earlier on Wednesday, GERB leader Boyko Borissov commented on this statement by underscoring that the decisions are taken in the Council of Ministers while Movement for Rights and Freedoms floor leader Delyan Peevski said that the only pawn in the last two years has been the head of State himself. “Some people are still hurting that during my caretaker governments they could not play their schemes,” the President said, responding to Peevski and Borissov’s words. He added that during his caretaker cabinets “no major abuses” were committed. “We have a deepening problem with the functioning of democracy in Bulgaria, unfortunately this problem comes from the highest level – from the Bulgarian Parliament,” the head of State said.
He pointed out that one of the basic principles on which the state is built is the supremacy of the fundamental law – the Constitution. Radev said that the way it was changed and subsequently “brutally violated” just a month after the amendments revealed “a worrying syndrome that is increasingly taking over the work of the National Assembly and from there is being transferred to other institutions.”
“The National Assembly is the supreme, most democratic body in a parliamentary republic. But being in power and having a majority does not mean you can do whatever you want, to blatantly violate any rules, even the Constitution itself,” Radev stressed.
Radev explained that there is also a problem with the motives for the constitutional amendments. According to him, the motive was judicial reform with a focus on limiting the powers of the Prosecutor General, but in fact those powers were restored.
The President also added that the Cabinet owed an explanation to the Bulgarian people as to why it had agreed to stricter compliance with the Dublin regulation on handling of migration and asylum applications, arguing that “even European countries do not comply with it”.