Bulgarian opposition calls for no-confidence motion

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SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) – The centrist coalition government of Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov will face a no-confidence motion by the main opposition party on Wednesday, its first since taking power late last year.

Ex-Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s GERB party accuses the government of taking the wrong steps in public finance and economic policy, leading to inflation.

“We have tabled a motion of no confidence in the government over a failure in economic and fiscal policies,” party leader Desislava Atanasova said, adding that the GERB plans to seek support for the motion from all other factions in parliament.

Bulgaria’s annual consumer price index recorded inflation of 15.6% in May, according to the National Statistical Institute, the highest year-on-year rise in consumer prices since 2008.

Petkov, 42, and his We Continue the Change party were elected last year on a promise to end corruption and push for deep reforms in the EU’s poorest member state.

The uphill battle for swift change took its first toll when one of four parties withdrew from the governing coalition last week, leaving it with 109 lawmakers in the 240-seat National Assembly.

Populist leaders are such people, as Slava Trifonov cites disagreements with the prime minister’s proposed budget change, accusing him of bankrupting the country with fresh debt.

He also accused the prime minister of ignoring Bulgaria’s national interests by making concessions to neighboring North Macedonia to allow it to start EU accession talks.

Five MPs have now defected from Trifonov’s faction, but the governing coalition needs at least seven more votes to guarantee a majority in parliament if it is to avoid a no-confidence vote next week.

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