Politics of Bulgaria: Wikis

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Bulgaria

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Politics and government of
Bulgaria



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Politics of Bulgaria take place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Minister-Chairman is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Since 1990, Bulgaria has an unstable party system, nowadays dominated by the post-communist social democratic Bulgarian Socialist Party and the personalist liberal National Movement Simeon II. The U.S. Freedom House considers Bulgaria a free country.

Contents

Developments since 1990

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) won the first post-communist Assembly elections in 1990 with a small majority. The BSP government formed at that time was brought down by a general strike in late 1990 and replaced by a transitional coalition government. Meanwhile, Zhelyu Zhelev, a communist-era dissident, was elected President by the Assembly in 1990, and in 1992 won Bulgaria's first direct presidential elections. Zhelev served until early 1997. The country's first fully democratic Assembly elections, in November 1991, ushered in another coalition government, which was led by the pro-reform Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) in partnership with the Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF). This coalition collapsed in late 1992, and was succeeded by a technocratic team, put forward by the MRF, which governed at the sufferance of the BSP for 2 years. The BSP won pre-term elections in December 1994 and remained in office until February 1997, when a populace alienated by the BSP's failed, corrupt government demanded its resignation and called for new elections. A caretaker cabinet appointed by the President served until pre-term parliamentary elections in April 1997, which yielded a landslide victory for pro-reform forces led by the UDF in the United Democratic Forces coalition.

In 2001, former King Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha returned to power, this time as Prime Minister with his National Movement Simeon II. The last parliamentary elections took place on 25 June 2005.

Bulgaria did not decriminalize homosexuality until 2002, doing so to conform to European Union norms as it pressed for membership. Nevertheless, polls from the end of 2007 showed that 80% of Bulgarian respondents expressed a negative view of gays and lesbians, with 53% voicing an "extremely negative" view.[1]

On July 27, 2005 the Bulgarian Parliament chose Sergey Stanishev of the Bulgarian Socialist Party as the new Prime Minister in a coalition government with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. The vote was 120 against 119. However, the parliament voted against the cabinet's staff by 119 to 117 votes. Finally, on August 15, 2005, the BSP and National Movement Simeon II formed a stable government, along with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. This grand coalition comprises the three largest parties. This coalition will have a large majority in parliament with 169 of the 240 deputies.

Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007.[2]

Main office holders

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Georgi Parvanov Socialist Party 22 January 2002
Vice President Angel Marin Socialist Party 22 January 2002
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov Citizens for European Development 27 July 2009
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Simeon Djankov Citizens for European Development 27 July 2009
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior Tsvetan Tsvetanov Citizens for European Development 27 July 2009
Chairperson of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva Citizens for European Development 14 July 2009
Vice Chairperson of the National Assembly 14 July 2009
Vice Chairperson of the National Assembly 14 July 2009
Vice Chairperson of the National Assembly 14 July 2009
Chairperson of the Constitutional Court Rumen Yankov Independent 8 November 2006

Executive branch

The president of Bulgaria (Georgi Parvanov since 22 January 2002) is directly elected for a 5-year term with the right to one re-election. The president serves as the head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces. The President's main duties are to schedule elections and referendums, represent Bulgaria abroad, conclude international treaties, and head the Consultative Council for National Security. The President may return legislation to the National Assembly for further debate—a kind of veto—but the legislation can be passed again by an absolute majority vote.

The Council of Ministers is the principal organ of the executive branch. It is usually formed by the majority party in Parliament, if one exists, or by the largest party in Parliament along with coalition partners. Chaired by the Prime Minister, it is responsible for carrying out state policy, managing the state budget, and maintaining law and order. The Council must resign if the National Assembly passes a vote of no confidence in the Council or the Prime Minister or rejects a vote of confidence. The current governmental coalition is made of the centre-right |Citizens for European Development, and the Blue Coalition, an alliance of small centre-right parties.

Legislative branch

The National Assembly

The Bulgarian unicameral parliament, the National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie, consists of 240 deputies who are elected for 4-year-terms by popular vote. The votes are for party or coalition lists of candidates for each of the twenty-eight administrative divisions. A party or coalition must garner a minimum of 4% of the vote in order to enter parliament. Parliament is responsible for enactment of laws, approval of the budget, scheduling of presidential elections, selection and dismissal of the prime minister and other ministers, declaration of war, deployment of troops outside of Bulgaria, and ratification of international treaties and agreements.

Political parties and elections

e • d  Summary of the 22 and 29 October 2006 Bulgarian presidential election results
Candidates Nominated by First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Nedelcho Beronov Juliana Nikolova Initiative committee 271,078 9.753%
Ljuben Petrov Neli Topalova Initiative committee 13,854 0.498%
Georgi Parvanov Angel Marin Initiative committee 1,780,119 64.047% 2,050,488 75.948%
Grigor Velev Jordan Mutafchiev Union of Bulgarian Nationalists "Whole Bulgaria" 19,857 0.714%
Petar Beron Stela Bankova Initiative committee 21,812 0.785%
Volen Siderov Pavel Shopov Attack 597,175 21.486% 649,387 24.052%
Georgi Markov Marija Ivanova Order, Lawfulness, Justice 75,478 2.716 %

     runoff      failed to reach the runoff

e • d  Summary of the 25 June 2005 National Assembly of Bulgaria election results
Coalitions and parties Votes % Seats +/−
Coalition for Bulgaria (Koalicija za Bălgarija) 1,129,196 31.0 82 +34
National Movement Simeon II (Nacionalno Dviženie Simeon Vtori) 725,314 19.9 53 −67
Movement for Rights and Freedoms (Dviženie za Prava i Svobodi) 467,400 12.8 34 +13
National Union Attack (Nacionalno Obedinenie Ataka) 296,848 8.1 21 +21
United Democratic Forces (Obedineni demokratični sili) 280,323 7.7 20 −31
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria (Demokrati za Silna Bălgarija) 234,788 6.4 17 +17
Bulgarian People's Union (Bălgarski Naroden Săjuz) 189,268 5.2 13 +13
Others 324,050 8.8 0
Total (turnout 55.8%) 3,648,177 100.0 240  
Invalid votes 99,616
Votes cast 3,747,793
Registered voters 6,720,941
Source: Centralna Izbiratelna Komisija and Adam Carr's Electoral Archive

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Judicial branch

The Bulgarian judicial system consists of regional, district and appeal courts, as well as a Supreme Court of Cassation. In addition, there is a Supreme Administrative Court and a system of military courts. The Presidents of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court as well as the Prosecutor General are elected by a qualified majority of two-thirds from all the members of the Supreme Judicial Council and are appointed by the President of the Republic. The Supreme Judicial Council is in charge of the self-administration and organisation of the Judiciary.

A qualified majority of two-thirds of the membership of the Supreme Judicial Council elects the Presidents of the Supreme Court of Cassation and of the Supreme Administrative Court, as well as the Prosecutor General, from among its members; the President of the Republic then appoints those elected.

The Supreme Judicial Council has charge of the self-administration and organization of the Judiciary.

The Constitutional Court supervises the review of the constitutionality of laws and statutes brought before it, as well as the compliance of these laws with international treaties that the Government has signed. Parliament elects the 12 members of the Constitutional Court by a two-thirds majority. The members serve for a nine-year term.

The territory of the Republic of Bulgaria subdivides into provinces and municipalities. Bulgaria has 28 provinces, each headed by a provincial governor appointed by the government. In addition, the country includes 263 municipalities.

The Constitutional Court of Bulgaria is in charge of reviewing the constitutionality of laws and statutes brought before it, as well as the compliance of these laws with international treaties that the Government has signed. The 12 members of the Constitutional Court serve a nine-year term. Parliament elects 1/3 of them.

Administrative divisions

The territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is divided into provinces and municipalities. In all Bulgaria has 28 provinces, each headed by a provincial governor appointed by the government. In addition, there are 263 municipalities.

International relations

Other data

Political pressure groups and leaders:

See also

References

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