Bulgaria – Parliament overturns presidential veto

The Sofia News Agency is reporting that on 1 September the Bulgarian parliament overturned a presidential veto. In July parliament passed the Diplomatic Service Act. The Act was designed to give the government the power to remove ambassadors who were known to have links with the former State Security service under communism. President Parvenov vetoed the Act at the end of July. The President, who is known to have worked for the State Security service in the past, claimed that the Act would give the government a monopoly on appointments. Anyway, at the beginning of September the president’s veto was overturned. The ruling GERB party, the Ataka party and the Blue Coalition voted to overturn the veto. The opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms supported the president.

The veto story is interesting in itself, but its significance is increased because since July 2009 Bulgaria has been experiencing a period of cohabitation. I have identified eight other presidential vetoes since this time. All have been overturned, but it indicates the level of conflict under cohabitation. That said, I have also identified four vetoes in the period August 2005-July 2009 when there was no cohabitation. There may be others both in the current period and the previous period. However, without Bulgarian I have only been able to search English-language sources.

I am happy to supply the details of the vetoes I have identified. Please just contact me.

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