Bulgarian government survives no-confidence motion

The centre-left government of Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Friday, the fourth such motion submitted by the conservative opposition.

Sofia: The centre-left government of Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Friday, the fourth such motion submitted by the conservative opposition.

The motion failed in a vote of 116 to 93 with the backing of the Socialist BSP party, their liberal partner Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and independent lawmakers.

It accused Oresharski`s cabinet of lacking a clear strategy for the country`s troubled energy sector, meddling with the rulings of the independent energy watchdog and taking closed-door decisions on major projects such as the Russia-backed South Stream gas pipeline.

The motion came after the conservative GERB party, which had failed to win support for three previous no-confidence motions, overwhelmingly won Bulgarian elections to the European parliament with 30.4 percent support, compared to BSP`s 18.93 percent.

GERB had immediately demanded Oresharski`s resignation and the days of his cabinet seemed numbered earlier this week when MRF leader Lyutvi Mestan said the prime minister did not stand a chance to complete his four-year term in office in the current political situation.

The MRF would back a cabinet reshuffle under Oresharski but no other premier within this parliament, Mestan added, hinting that the country was headed for early elections.

The conservative opposition GERB party seeks to return to power after being ousted by massive anti-poverty street protests in February 2013.

Oresharski himself had also drawn ire by disillusioned Bulgarians almost immediately after taking office in May 2013 with daily street demonstrations calling for his resignation for months on end due to his cabinet`s perceived links to behind-the-scenes oligarchs.

The rallies subsided recently but analysts said they might resume again after GERB`s victory in the EU polls.

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