Bulgarian Premier Survives Second No-Confidence Vote This Year

(Bloomberg) -- Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s government survived a second no-confidence vote this year over failure to curb crime and boost the Balkan nation’s defense capability.

Lawmakers voted 131-104 without abstentions to reject the motion, Speaker Tsveta Karayancheva said on Friday. The opposition Socialists had demanded the motion, accusing the government of failing to fight street crime, solve a string of high-profile murders, modernize the army, improve working conditions for law enforcement.

“The government’s efforts to restore confidence in our security services have gained international recognition,” Tsvetan Tsvetanov, head of the ruling party Gerb’s caucus, told lawmakers. “This motion is sheer populism, as there are only debates without proposals for alternative solutions.”

Last year, Borissov formed his third cabinet since 2009, vowing to reduce crime and curb corruption in law enforcement. The opposition said that promise hasn’t been fulfilled as hundreds of police officers quit the service in 2017 over bad working conditions. The government resumed efforts to hire fighters, army vehicles and warships earlier this month.

In January, Borissov survived a previous no-confidence vote over corruption. The European Union has repeatedly criticized Bulgaria for failure to battle organized crime and graft ever since it joined the bloc in 2007.

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