Barely six months in power and he has already been overthrown: Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov faced a motion of censure in Parliament on June 22, against a backdrop of increased differences over the Ukrainian file. The text was adopted by 123 MPs, while 116 voted against, out of the 240 seats, announced the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Miroslav Ivanov.
The Bulgarians have already lived through three legislative elections last year. Until the sensational entry into politics of pro-European liberal Petkov, a graduate of Harvard University showing a desire to wipe out corruption after the three terms of his predecessor, Boïko Borissov.
President Roumen Radev will now call for negotiations to try to form a new cabinet. The party of Kirill Petkov, winner of the last elections, should try again, followed by two other parties.
If this fails, Parliament will be dissolved and new elections organised.
Several files that sow discord
But the heterogeneous coalition formed in December split: at the beginning of June, it lost the support of the anti-system party “There is such a people” (ITP).
In opposition, the Gerb, the conservative party of Boïko Borissov, rushed into the breach and tabled a motion, pointing to “the failure of the government’s economic and financial policy”, in a context of soaring prices.
Among the themes that have sown discord: arms deliveries to Ukraine. Within the government, while most were in favor of it, the socialists stubbornly refused to respond to kyiv’s demands.
Also a source of discord, the Bulgarian veto on the launch of negotiations for North Macedonia’s accession to the EU, for reasons of historical and cultural disputes.
The conflict in Ukraine has brought the issue of EU enlargement to the Balkans back on the table, with increased geostrategic importance, and Western pressure for Sofia to lift its opposition has increased.
But the rapprochement strategy initiated by Kirill Petkov was not to everyone’s taste in the government.