Hundreds of people demonstrate against the dismissal of the speaker of the Parliament in Bulgaria

Belgrade, Serbia

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Bulgarian parliament on Friday to protest against the impeachment of Nikola Minchev, who was removed from office as president in a vote of no confidence the day before.

Minchev faced heavy criticism and calls to resign from members of opposition parties after leading Wednesday’s parliamentary session where policies related to North Macedonia were discussed.

In late 2020, Bulgaria refused to endorse the EU’s negotiating framework for North Macedonia, saying it could not support the start of the bloc’s long-delayed membership talks with Skopje due to disputes over history and language.

A no-confidence motion tabled by the There Is A Such A People (ITN) party, which withdrew from the government coalition last week, was passed by the 240-member parliament on Thursday, with 125 votes for, 113 against and abstention. .

Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and members of the ruling coalition attended Friday’s parliamentary session.

Petkov pledged to make Bulgaria “a normal, European country”, saying that “we will not hand over the state to the mafia”.

The opposition also tabled a no-confidence motion against Petkov’s government on Wednesday, with the vote due to take place in seven days.

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